The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Found this

Success Kid - I didn't vote for him But I sure as hell enjoyed watching her bite the dust

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Who’s Your Favorite Dictator? - Taki's Magazine

Just as everyone has his favorite crime, so everyone has his favorite dictator. For much of the 20th century, Fidel Castro was the darling of the intellectuals: partly because, like them, he was so slovenly in appearance, and partly because he represented so completely their wish fulfillment (inside every rebel there’s a dictator trying to get out). To rant for hours in front of a captive audience unable to answer or object: What greater bliss could an intellectual dream of?!

via takimag.com

TD.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

AFT Pledges to Support Immigrants in Face of Trump Presidency

In the wake of Donald Trump winning the presidency after a campaign that often targeted and scapegoated immigrants, Latinos and Muslims, the AFT has pledged to take concrete action to assist these groups, with a particular emphasis on assisting and defending undocumented students. AFT President Randi Weingarten said AFT will "do everything in our power to stop any kind of action against our immigrant families, our Muslim families, our Latino families and especially our undocumented students."

via www.aflcio.org

I wouldn't have thought the AFL-CIO would support this sort of thing. But this is the American Federation of Teachers and if undocumented aliens go to public schools, then that's more pupils for teachers to teach, more schools and thus more teachers. So it does make sense.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

GOP rep: Trump has 'extra-constitutional' view of presidency | TheHill

Sean Penn: Hollywood, Havana and Me - The Daily Beast

Sitting between my children on the couch was the diminutive, cherubic García Márquez, his feet not touching the carpet.

Castro moved on to conversation with me. He was very interested, or at least said so, in my trips to Iraq. He spoke very specifically to what I had written in the San Francisco Chronicle. “What we can say about Saddam Hussein is that he’s a brave man,” Castro said. “But he has oppressed his people too much. He has not learned to let the steam off the kettle.” The contrast with himself was left implicit. Perhaps his attribution of the word “brave” to Hussein was meant diplomatically? Whatever the case, I thought, yes, courage came easily to Hussein’s madness.

via www.thedailybeast.com

This is a long piece. I didn't finish. You won't be surprised to learn that Sean Penn has a wonderful life, gallivanting around with the likes of Fidel Castro and Garcia Marquez. His 14-year old daughter has friends who are "already openly gay" and she told Castro a thing or two. Read this for your sins. It will make you want to throw up. You may have enough of that in your life already and if so, I won't blame you for skipping it. But consider this--Sean Penn is an actor and I hate to say it, an almost preternaturally fine one. He is utterly convincing as a person other than himself. This is a skill that some people have that seems to have no correlation whatever with any other talent and strangely does with a lot of vices, not least of them the illusion that what they have to say is insightful or even notable just because they can pretend to be other people. Penn could play a brilliant brain surgeon in a movie, but you wouldn't want to trust him to trim your fingernails. Someday, soon I hope, his job will be done by computers and that day can't come soon enough. We're going through a strange, transitional time of outsized media influence, I hope.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stanford Study Reveals California Pensions Underfunded By $1 Trillion Or $93k Per Household | Zero Hedge

Stanford University’s pension tracker database pegs the market value of California’s total pension debt at $1 trillion or $93,000 per California household in 2015. 

via www.zerohedge.com

That's a lot.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Italy referendum: First Brexit, then Trump, now Italy faces political shockwave - CNN.com

For Italy -- one of the original participants in the experiment in European unity -- to pull the plug on the EU would be fatal.
With it, the European dream would die: borders would go up; the current -- albeit imperfect -- European economic order would evaporate. Sounds grim.
But while the foreign media is alarmed about the prospect of a "No" victory, many Italians are surprisingly blasé about the potential consequences.

via www.cnn.com

I'd say vote No, but I've not been following it.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Of course: Obama reportedly considering launching his own media company « Hot Air

He’s been the biggest celebrity in the world since spring 2008. Was there really any doubt which field he’d choose after public office?

via hotair.com

It will be a niche market.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis: 7 memorable quotes - CBS News

“PowerPoint makes us stupid.”

via www.cbsnews.com

Truedat.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

My Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic - WSJ

I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. But my research led me to a conclusion that many climate campaigners find unacceptable: There is scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally. In fact we are in an era of good fortune when it comes to extreme weather. This is a topic I’ve studied and published on as much as anyone over two decades. My conclusion might be wrong, but I think I’ve earned the right to share this research without risk to my career.

Instead, my research was under constant attack for years by activists, journalists and politicians. In 2011 writers in the journal Foreign Policy signaled that some accused me of being a “climate-change denier.” I earned the title, the authors explained, by “questioning certain graphs presented in IPCC reports.” That an academic who raised questions about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in an area of his expertise was tarred as a denier reveals the groupthink at work.

via www.wsj.com

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Limbaugh Explains Why Trump's 'Thank You' Speech Has the Left 'Wetting the Bed' | Daily Wire

LIMBAUGH: But the real objective of this is to make victims out of all these other people.  When you make victims out of them, you immediately turn them to dependency.  When you begin to become their champion in overcoming whatever it is that's against them -- and, by the way, what's against them is America! In the land of the left America is the biggest obstacle, and they make victims -- the left does, the Democrat Party makes victims -- out of all these people.  They immediately, therefore, turn them into dependent people dependent on the Democrats, dependent on government, and they also destroy, in my mind, an element of their humanity, because they tell 'em, "There's so many obstacles in your way, you can't possibly overcome them.  You can't become great.  It's not possible because of the bigoted and prejudiced way this country is structured." They tell people this, and people believe it. People believe they have no hope, they have no chance unless government or the Democrats are out there punishing this phantom enemy. 

via www.dailywire.com

Analysis: true.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Trump can keep winning | Washington Examiner

It is too soon to know what the future holds for Trump, but his sales pitch for the next four years and beyond is already taking shape.

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

I don't know. This winning is getting pretty tiring.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Trump’s Charm of Not Being Obama - WSJ

Barack Obama will retire a president personally popular with the American people yet who served them (and himself, and his party) badly.

He fretted in 2012 that he would lose the election just in time for Mitt Romney to get credit for an Obama recovery. That long-delayed recovery is finally coming in the last months of his administration—the economy finally broke 3% growth in the third quarter—and now Mr. Trump will get the credit.

He may even deserve a bit, witness the outbreak of Trumpian optimism in the stock market and small-business hiring plans.

via www.wsj.com

Oh he deserves it alright.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The General Who Should Lead the Pentagon - The New York Times

But these are not normal times. The incoming president appears to be a profoundly ignorant man who often seems to act on gut impulse or on what pleases the crowd. That is a dangerous combination to have in the White House. Having known General Mattis for many years, I am confident that he will be a restraint on Mr. Trump’s impulsiveness. I also think he will provide a strong counterweight to some of those around Mr. Trump who hold isolationist or pro-Putin views.

via www.nytimes.com

Tom Ricks supports the Mattis pick. That's news.

December 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Our Noble Cousin: The Octopus - WSJ

In “Other Minds,” Peter Godfrey-Smith, a philosopher at CUNY and an avid scuba diver, has given us a smoothly written and captivating account of the octopus and its brethren, as observed by humans. He celebrates the cephalopods: the octopus, the squid and the cuttlefish. He stresses their dissimilarity to us and other mammals, but he also wants us to appreciate what we have in common. Just as eyes have evolved independently in many lineages, so have intelligent minds. From those mindless worms, via two separate evolutionary paths, to the glories of consciousness and curiosity—we are brothers in big brains.

via www.wsj.com

Conscious, perhaps. And perhaps also scheming in their deep, ineluctable way. Drifting upward, where they meet curious scuba-divers who struggle so amusingly as you pull them down into the abyss, which to you is just home, for it is filled with dark nooks which to you are just home.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Annual holiday party for fashion industry canceled because Donald Trump won the election - LA Times

Alas when she did not win the duo, who wrote, “So confident we were of her victory, we designed and printed the attached invitation before Nov. 8th,” were presumably in that “liberal bubble” the likes of Michael Moore have been pontificating about post-election.

via www.latimes.com

Devastating.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Trump Carrier Bailout – Economically Unsound | National Review

One particularly tough and indigestible nugget of talk-radio stupidity afflicting the guts of conservatism is the idea that there is some sort of fundamental difference between bribing a business with tax cuts and bribing it with a wheelbarrow full of cash. The Trump-Pence bailout of Carrier’s operations in Indiana provides an illustrative case.

via www.nationalreview.com

There's at least a moral difference. The guvment decides not to send its goons to collect from you and so you have enough money to keep your doors open in the US. That seems different to me from sending your goons over with wheelbarrows full of cash. The first views all income as belonging to the guvment; everything they don't take is a subsidy. I understand the equilibria all end up in the same place, but first still seems different to me.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

The return of the insurance company bailout (and this time it’s the GOP considering it) « Hot Air

Republicans have a problem. Their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare won’t work unless they repeal first because Democrats will not be motivated to work on a replacement. However, since Republicans don’t have a replacement bill ready, it could be some time before a replacement, especially one that requires Democratic support, is in place. The current plan to solve this problem is being called repeal and delay, i.e. repeal Obamacare but phase it out over several years so Congress can work on the replacement.

via hotair.com

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wow: Trump becomes first president-elect to speak to leader of Taiwan since 1979 « Hot Air

Two questions. One: Who initiated the call? And two: Did he understand the significance of what he was doing when it happened?

via hotair.com

Probably not, but it's still a good thing.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Democrats Spoil for Fight on Trump Cabinet Picks | RealClearPolitics

If Senate Republicans stay united, they can confirm President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees without any support from Democrats. But even if the minority party can’t block nominees, its members still plan to turn Trump’s Cabinet choices into a major fight early next year.

via www.realclearpolitics.com

Democrats will oppose Trump's nominees and they will lose. If I were them, I would oppose them too, because they stand for everything they abhor. Well, not everything. Nearly everybody loves puppies, except for Harry Reid, who eats them.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Almost A Third Of British Muslims Blame US Govt For 9/11, Says Poll | Heat Street

More than half of British Muslims say they do not know who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center while almost one third blame the US government for the atrocity, according to new data.

In what has been described as the “most extensive research of British Muslims ever conducted”, a survey of more than 3,000 Muslims revealed their surprising propensity for conspiracy.

via heatst.com

This article is Islamophobic. It fails to distinguish between Islamic fundamentalism and the fundamentalism of Islam. And Donald Trump did *not* see Muslims cheering on 9/11. That was also Islamophobic. You're probably Islamophobic if you're reading this.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Served With James Mattis. Here's What I Learned From Him

To Marines, he is the finest of our tribal elders. The rest of the world, very soon, will know how truly gifted he is. Our friends and allies will be happy he is our new secretary of war; our enemies will soon wish he weren’t.

via thefederalist.com

Sounds impressive.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Buy [fill-in-the-blank]! - Cafe Hayek

Many advocates of “buying local” insist that buying local is good for the local economy and, hence, economically good for each person in the local economy.  For a number of reasons, the economics on which the “buy local” movement rests is remarkably weak.  (Just as it is a sure sign that someone has no sound grasp of economics if he or she believes that protectionism is a source of national economic prosperity, an even surer sign that someone has no sound grasp of economics is that person’s belief that buying local is a source of local economic prosperity.)

via cafehayek.com

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

King's College Hospital say drinking too much water is dangerous after woman overdoses on it  | Daily Mail Online

Experts at King's College Hospital in south London questioned the recommendation after treating a 59-year-old woman who drank so much water that she became gravely ill.

via www.dailymail.co.uk

It really is possible to drink too much water. A good rule of thumb -- when you're thirsty, drink water. When you're not, don't. The old saw, drink water until your urine is clear, will have you drinking and peeing way too much, and possibly giving you the medical condition with a long, complicated name described herein.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

George Bailey is the personification of all of our demons and better angels - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

One of the best things about this season is that, invariably, someone writes about It’s A Wonderful Life, and muses on the complex, sometimes dark character of George Bailey.

via aleteia.org

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Milt Moss, Actor in Classic Alka-Seltzer Ad, Is Dead at 93 - The New York Times

Milt Moss, a comic actor who delivered the rueful catchphrase “I can’t believe I ate that whole thing” in a memorable commercial for Alka-Seltzer in 1972, died on Sept. 26 in Manhattan. He was 93.

via www.nytimes.com

My father-in-law Frank Gromer's ad firm, Foote Cone & Belding, came up with this classic ad, along with a lot of the other classics from the 1960's and 70's. He thought Mad Men was stupid, however.

I don't think the line is "that whole thing." It's "the whole thing."

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Record 95,055,000 Americans Out of the Labor Force | The Daily Caller

While the unemployment rate dropped and the economy added another 178,000 jobs, the number of Americans out of the labor force hit a record high last month.

via dailycaller.com

Soon we will have 0% unemployment and 100% of workers out of the labor force.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Dispute Over Seat On 6 Train Ends With 2 Men Hurt In East Harlem « CBS New York

“I’m from California and I’ve never seen anything like this. This is my first subway experience,” one woman said.

via newyork.cbslocal.com

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Aging white population speeding diversity | TheHill

A rapidly aging white population and fast-growing younger minority groups are speeding demographic changes across the nation, hastening a political divide likely to have long-term ramifications. 

via thehill.com

Maybe we should set up a special immigration program where we only let in conservatives. It worked pretty well for liberals.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Aging white population speeding diversity | TheHill

A rapidly aging white population and fast-growing younger minority groups are speeding demographic changes across the nation, hastening a political divide likely to have long-term ramifications. 

via thehill.com

Maybe we should set up a special immigration program where we only let in conservatives. It worked pretty well for liberals.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

This 14-foot python was caught with 3 deer in its gut. That’s a bad sign. - Vox

Now scientists have discovered that Burmese pythons — which can reach 18 feet in length and swallow a bobcat whole — are even more ravenous than they realized. In a new paper in Bioinvasions Records, a team of researchers describe slitting open the intestine of a dead 14-foot python and finding the remains of three different white-tailed deer. The snake appears to have gobbled them up, an adult and two fawns, in just 90 days.

The implications are disturbing.

via www.vox.com

You've got to love Florida, even if you wouldn't want to live there.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Breaking: Michigan AG files suit to block Stein recount « Hot Air

Maybe Hillary Clinton won’t need those recount volunteers in Michigan after all. Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed a lawsuit to block the recount demand, challenging Jill Stein’s standing and pointing out that the Green Party nominee had provided no evidence of any irregularities that would require the state to spend the money and risk missing the Electoral College:

via hotair.com

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Noncitizen Voting “Debunked”? | National Review

The second lesson is that liberal dominance of the social sciences continues to pay dividends in the media. Once the Richman-Chattha-Earnest study was released, it met immediate hostility from experts intent on debunking it. This seems to happen whenever any academic study provides political ammunition (intentional or not) to conservatives. And yet the media landscape is suffused with junk science purporting to prove all sorts of liberal political claims: Diversity makes people smarter, same-sex marriage improves public health, only 2 to 8 percent of rape accusations are false, and so on. The media often treat these dubious claims as factual, but who can blame them when there is no army of debunkers they can learn from? I don’t pretend to know how to fix this imbalance, but keep it in mind the next time someone cites a “consensus.”

via www.nationalreview.com

My independent research suggests this is mostly true.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Sealed Carrier Deal With Mix of Threat and Incentive - The New York Times

“This is the way it’s going to be,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The New York Times. “Corporate America is going to have to understand that we have to take care of our workers also.”

via www.nytimes.com

I doubt this will work out well, but it's still fun to watch.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

John Kerry isn’t going quietly into the night - The Boston Globe

Their fate depends on whom the president-elect chooses to replace Kerry and whether Trump makes good on his rhetoric. But Kerry, who has done time in the loyal opposition before, says he isn’t giving up. Having traveled a few hundred thousand miles with him during his time as secretary, I can attest that Kerry at 72 has more energy than most people decades younger. He’s not saying if he’ll work with a global organization, a university, or the private sector, but whatever he does, he’ll fight for what was — before Trump — seven decades of largely bipartisan support for US leadership in global security and economics.

Advertisement

via www.bostonglobe.com

Beware Trumpsters! Here he comes, on his 30 speed racing bike, lycra-clad, funny helmet on his head! He's so scary!

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jim Webb Addresses America's Elites, Trump, And Foreign Policy

Part of it was the Vietnam War itself, the only war with mass casualties, 58,000 dead and 300,000 others wounded, where our society’s elites felt morally comfortable in avoiding the draft and excusing themselves from serving. As I wrote of a Harvard-educated character in my novel, “Fields of Fire,” Mark went to Canada, Goodrich went to Vietnam, everybody else went to grad school.

This created, among our most well-educated and economically advantaged, a premise of entitlement that poured over into issues of economic fairness, and obligations to less advantaged fellow citizens. I know many of you know the writings of writer and lawyer Ben Stein. Years ago he wrote of his years at Yale Law School with Bill and Hillary Clinton, quote that, “We were supermen, floating above history and precedent. The natural rulers of the universe, the law did not apply to us.”

via thefederalist.com

I think is really true. Webb could have added that this generation became our college professors, who then passed this wisdom on, in distilled form, to the next generation of youngsters. Of course, it turns out Vietnam really was a terrible mistake, at least as the war was fought, so you could hardly blame kids for not wanting to fight in it.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Trump: Supreme Court pick coming 'pretty soon' - POLITICO

President-elect Donald Trump said Thursday night he had narrowed his choices for a potential Supreme Court nominee to "three or four" candidates and that a decision would be coming "pretty soon."

via www.politico.com

I wonder how young the guy (or gal!) will be.

December 2, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Donald Trump and the Outstate Midwest Redraw the Partisan Lines | RealClearPolitics

Would any Republican besides Donald Trump have beaten Hillary Clinton and been elected the 45th president? It's an interesting question, not susceptible to a definitive answer but with consequences for politics going forward.

via www.realclearpolitics.com

It is an interesting question.

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Democrats Send Their Regrets - WSJ

Regrets? Delaware Sen. Chris Coons has a few—and not too few to mention. At the top of his list is his party’s decision in 2013 to blow up the filibuster for most presidential nominees.

via www.wsj.com

Karma she is not a verynice lady.

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

GOP weighs reversal of 'hundreds' of Obama executive actions | Washington Examiner

Republicans will soon begin sifting through "hundreds" of executive actions implemented by President Obama in order to determine which ones to reverse, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.

via www.washingtonexaminer.com

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why do we need a Goldman Sachs financial conditions index? - MarketWatch

Pfff! Just like that, those Masters of the Universe deal a blow to any anticipated stimulative effect from Trump’s proposed reduction in tax rates and regulations, and increased spending on infrastructure and defense. Both articles cite a sudden rise, or tightening, in the Goldman Sachs Financial Conditions Index, which has been at the forefront of the economics profession’s we-can-index-it craze.

The idea of a financial conditions index makes perfect sense on the surface. The central bank tightens or loosens monetary policy, which in turn affects an array of financial variables, which then act to transmit policy changes to the real economy. So far so good.

The problem lies with the interpretation: imputing a fixed meaning to a change in price. (Trigger warning: Get ready for a brief economics lesson.)

via www.marketwatch.com

That's a funny trigger warning.

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Four Legs of a New Health-Care System - WSJ

American health care is teetering because it relies too much on governmental coercion. A functioning marketplace can deliver high-quality care at lower cost. Now is the time to secure a system that empowers consumers to take command of their health care.

via www.wsj.com

If you wanted to keep your doctor, maybe you can get him or her back.

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

A Science-y Explanation for Why Angry Athiests Are Annoying -- Science of Us

For some (loud, argumentative) people, science isn’t just a collective endeavor to understand the world. It’s a moral system: To be unscientific is to be unethical, and they’ll be happy to tell you all about at the next housewarming party.

via nymag.com

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Drunk drivers in a town in Canada will be forced to listen to Nickelback — Quartz

In an instance of the punishment possibly being harsher than the crime, a Canadian police department is subjecting drunk drivers this holiday season to music from possibly the world’s most hated band.

via qz.com

The first album is OK.

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Count Those Votes! Again! - The New York Times

The one positive effect of the recount, besides reassuring people who worry the Russians might be capable of hacking a massive American vote tally, is the way it reminds the nation, every day, that Donald Trump is one of the least successful successful presidential candidates in American history.

via www.nytimes.com

Gail Collins is correct. An even worse candidate, however, was Hillary Clinton.

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump’s A-Team - WSJ

Instead, the Trump transition has been talking to and appointing some of the most accomplished and serious individuals in Republican and conservative politics. Donald Trump isn’t pulling rabbits out of a hat. Somebody at team Trump has a first-rate Rolodex.

via www.wsj.com

Are you tired of winning yet?

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Donald Trump Carrier Deal: How He Sealed It with CEO Hayes

In the end, UTC agreed to retain approximately 800 manufacturing jobs at the Indiana plant that had been slated to move to Mexico, as well as another 300 engineering and headquarters jobs. In return, the company will get roughly $700,000 a year for a period of years in state tax incentives.

via fortune.com

What a deal.

December 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan: Republicans Should Say “No” | National Review

Moore was talking, in particular, about Trump’s plan to spend $1 trillion or more on infrastructure projects. But, like many of Trump’s ideas, the infrastructure proposal is less an actual plan than a vague notion. As Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon put it, “We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks.” Harkening back to FDR, Bannon calls Trump’s plans “as exciting as the 1930s.” That’s not exactly reassuring.

via www.nationalreview.com

I think of it as the domestic version of our rebuilding of Iraq. I expect fewer people will be killed by it, however.

November 30, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The End of Fidel | by Alma Guillermoprieto | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

Then there were the real achievements that endured even in the worst years of desperate hunger and privation for the island: the much-touted education and health systems; an end to de facto apartheid; the priority given to infants and children, who grew up as healthy as their counterparts in the wealthiest nations; an early interest in environment-conscious urban development; and adventurous research in the field of medicine. The standards he set raised the bar for the hemisphere’s primitive and rapacious ruling classes and showed the poor what they could aspire to.  

Close up, the picture darkened: squalid, crammed prisons that were the result of fifty years of clumsy effort at mind control; an economy that might have worked better were it managed by monkeys; families torn apart by an official intransigence that became part of the national mindset; children who lost their mothers and mothers who lost their children to the sea in their attempt to flee their suffocating homeland; the reckless waving about of nuclear warheads during two terrifying weeks that threatened the world with annihilation. There was, too, the unspeakable boredom of the later decades; the claustrophobic misery of living in a country that its ruler had tried to subordinate to his fantasies.

via www.nybooks.com

November 30, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The End of Fidel | by Alma Guillermoprieto | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

Then there were the real achievements that endured even in the worst years of desperate hunger and privation for the island: the much-touted education and health systems; an end to de facto apartheid; the priority given to infants and children, who grew up as healthy as their counterparts in the wealthiest nations; an early interest in environment-conscious urban development; and adventurous research in the field of medicine. The standards he set raised the bar for the hemisphere’s primitive and rapacious ruling classes and showed the poor what they could aspire to.  

Close up, the picture darkened: squalid, crammed prisons that were the result of fifty years of clumsy effort at mind control; an economy that might have worked better were it managed by monkeys; families torn apart by an official intransigence that became part of the national mindset; children who lost their mothers and mothers who lost their children to the sea in their attempt to flee their suffocating homeland; the reckless waving about of nuclear warheads during two terrifying weeks that threatened the world with annihilation. There was, too, the unspeakable boredom of the later decades; the claustrophobic misery of living in a country that its ruler had tried to subordinate to his fantasies.

via www.nybooks.com

November 30, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)