Monday, March 14, 2011

An excerpt from life in Israel

Whose side are you on now?

In part, at least, this is what rebels in Libya and Egypt should aspire to. Whether they do or not is another question.

VA Honors Military Women of Past, Present

This is all OK but when are we going to have a celebration of the white males who make up most of the armed forces? We wouldn't want to be biased, would we?

The Department of Veterans Affairs joins with the nation to observe Women's History Month in March by recognizing and honoring women Veterans.

“Duty. Honor. Pride. These words reflect the spirit of generations of American women who have sought to defend the rights and freedom of others,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “The history of women in the armed forces began more than 220 years ago with women who served during the American Revolution and continues through the present day. VA is honored to serve these women who have contributed so much to our Nation.”

Women Veterans are one of the fastest growing segments of the Veteran population. Of the 22.7 million living Veterans, more than 1.8 million are women. They comprise nearly 8 percent of the total Veteran population and 6 percent of all Veterans who use VA health care services.

VA estimates women Veterans will constitute 10 percent of the Veteran population by 2020 and 9.5 percent of VA patients.

In recent years, VA has undertaken a number of initiatives to create or enhance services for women Veterans, including the implementation of comprehensive primary care throughout the nation; staffing every VA medical center with a women veterans program manager and regional offices with a designated woman Veterans coordinator; supporting a multifaceted research program on women's health; improving communication and outreach to women Veterans; and continuing the operation of offices like the Center for Women Veterans and the Women Veterans Health Strategic Healthcare Care Group.

“During this observance of Women’s History Month, let’s remember the special contributions of the ever-increasing number of women serving in the armed forces,” said Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs. She noted that women currently make up more than 14 percent of the active-duty military and 18 percent of the Guard and Reserves.

VA has 43 women’s memorials and monuments at its National Cemeteries across the country. Additionally, several notable women are buried in VA National Cemeteries, including Chief Specialist Evelyn B. (Ulrich) Einfeldt, a Navy World War II Veteran who was one of the 67 Navy “WAVES” involved in Operation Magic. She assisted with the assembly of BOMBE (Enigma), a machine to decode German and Japanese transmissions. She was laid to rest at the Fort Sill National Cemetery on April 6, 2006.

Lillian Kinkela Keil, an Air Force flight nurse pioneer, is buried at the Riverside National Cemetery. She flew 425 combat missions and took part in 11 major campaigns, including the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge in World War II and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in Korea. One of the most decorated women in American military history, she was awarded 19 medals.


First they came for the labor leaders in Cuba

A union protestor in Wisconsin was caught on camera saying he wants to vote for Castro and his clone, Che Guevara. Of course, there’s no kerfuffle from the MSM or Democratic Party. Good thing he wasn’t a Tea-partier caught on camera saying he wants to vote for Mussolini and clone Pinochet! Instead he was a union protestor in Madison, Wisconsin, caught on camera saying he wants to vote for Castro and his clone, Che Guevara. So there’s no kerfuffle from the MSM or Democratic Party. As I recall the (utterly bogus as it turned out) use of the “N” word by Tea-partiers back in March generated quite a kerfuffle.

A much larger, violent, and protracted kerfuffle erupted in Cuba by the union members cursed by fate to live under the regime founded by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Don’t look for this on NPR or The History Channel, much less in your college textbooks, but among the first, the most militant, and the most widespread opposition groups to the Stalinism that Che Guevara (who often cheekily signed his named as “Stalin II”) and Fidel Castro imposed on Cuba came from Cuban labor organizations. And who can blame them? Here’s a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) report on Cuba circa 1957:
One feature of the Cuban social structure is a large middle class. Cuban workers are more unionized [proportional to the population] than U.S. workers. The average wage for an 8-hour day in Cuba in 1957 is higher than for workers in Belgium, Denmark, France and Germany. Cuban labor receives 66.6 per cent of gross national income. In the U.S. the figure is 70 per cent, in Switzerland 64 per cent. 44 per cent of Cubans are covered by Social legislation, a higher percentage than in the U.S.

In 1958, Cuba had a higher per capita income than Austria or Japan and Cuban industrial workers had the eighth-highest wages in the world. In the 1950s, Cuban stevedores earned more per hour than their counterparts in New Orleans and San Francisco. Thousands of these took up arms against Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. The MRP (Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo) was among these Cuban resistance groups of mostly laborers. But don’t take it from me. Here’s how the FBI and CIA described them:
Heavily weighted labor membership, with socialistic leanings. Aimed for Castro overthrow from within; advocated nationalization of economy, agrarian reform, utopian social reform.

In a TV speech on June 26, 1961, when Che Guevara was Cuba’s “Minister of Industries,” he proclaimed: “The Cuban workers have to start being used to live in a collectivist regimen, and by no means can they go on strike!” This “no strike” provision was unacceptable to Cuban laborers — many of whom took up arms in protest, along with Cuba’s enraged campesinos who rose in arms by the thousands when Castro and Che started stealing their land to build Soviet Kolkhozes. This rebellion, involving ten times the number of rebels, ten times the number of casualties, and lasting twice as long as the puerile skirmish against Batista, found no reporter anywhere near Cuba’s hills. The Cuban campesinos’ bloody rebellion against Castro-Stalinism lasted from late 1959 to 1966. Tens of thousands of troops, scores of Soviet advisors, and squadrons of Soviet tanks, helicopters, and flame-throwers finally extinguished the lonely Cuban freedom-fight.

Everyplace else on earth reporters hail such things as “insurgencies,” and rush in to “embed” and report. Cuba’s insurgency against Stalinism was blacked-out. “We fought with the fury of cornered beasts,” recalls one of the few surviving rebels from Miami today. According to the scholars and researchers at the Cuba Archive, the Castro regime’s total death toll — from torture, prison beatings, firing squads, machine gunning of escapees, drownings, etc. — approaches 100,000. Cuba’s population in 1960 was 6.4 million. According to the human rights group Freedom House, 500,000 Cubans (young and old, male and female) have passed through Castro’s prisons and forced-labor camps. This puts Castro and Che’s political incarceration rate right up there with their hero Stalin’s.

The result?

The Castro brothers and Che Guevara converted a nation with a higher per capita income than half the nations of Europe, the lowest inflation rate in the Western hemisphere, a larger middle class than Switzerland, a huge influx of immigrants, and the 13th lowest infant-mortality in the world into one that repels Haitians. But in the process all Cubans became subject for their very livelihood upon Castro’s every whim. Typical communist mismanagement.

Actually, given Communist goals, Cuba’s economy is expertly managed. Destroying the factors involved in Cuba’s former freedom and prosperity was not a haphazard process. It required focus and dedication, putting the shoulder to the wheel and nose to the grindstone. Castro’s “nationalist” revolution saw many of Stalin’s own henchmen directing the murder, torture and destitution of millions of native Cubans. Among the first to go were labor leaders.


Too much censorship

A comment from Australia by Terry Sweetman

Sometimes I wonder how our kids survived until preschool, let alone to the age when they can treat me with fond disdain. They lived with an unfenced swimming pools, were surrounded by toxic household chemicals and were pretty much encouraged to read whatever they liked. The only restrictions in their TV viewing were the clock and their mothers view that indoors was an unnatural place for children while the sun was still up.

Their survival owed more to the occasional rap across the knuckles than the sort of safety devices that make houses and pill bottles no-go zones for the ageing and arthritic. Why do so many people think that life comes with inbuilt guarantees and that everyone else should share their parental burdens? Just how far can we push the care factor? We must have just about reached the limit with the proposal to make parental locks mandatory on digital TVs and set-top boxes. Let the kids watch moronic and oxymoronic reality shows but cover their little ears when it comes to street talk.

Seriously, do I have a problem with parents controlling what their kids watch? Not at all; I think it is their right and their responsibility. However, a little part of me worries that mandatory censorship devices should be imposed by the out-of-control Australian Communications and Media Authority. It, you might recall, is the body that has drawn up a secretive black list of what you can’t see or read on the internet and is immune from objection or appeal.

When it comes to TV, parents might control the set-top box, but they won't control the classifications it recognises. That’s the job of the Classification Board, which is undergoing a review in the light of what the Goverment calls changes in technology, media convergence and the global availability of media content.

It seems a short step from classifications being a guide to being a censorship gate. And the authority has called for submissions from the public on whether there should be any exemptions to the child-lock plan.

We’re not debating whether there should be compulsory locks. We’re reversing the onus of responsibility and asking who and what should be exempt. The authority has spoken.

If parents want childlocks on their idiot boxes, they should be available to them and they should pay for them. Yet why should they be compulsory for the rest of us even if we don’t want them and don't use them? I already have to put up with a nuisance child lock on the washing machine, so what next? Mandatory kiddie blockers on my detergent cupboard?

TV locks are probably not a big deal in themselves. The problem is that they represent a mindset that it builds a false sense of security, the idea that you can turn your back thinking your kids can’t get into the cleaning cupboard or the adult time slots.

The problem with Nanny State is that too many parents want to hand over their kids to her. And they want to blame her for what happens when their backs are turned. Teenagers running amok? Give the cops more power to kick them in the bum. Out of control? Blame it on the schools and teachers. Scoring zero in exams? Get a doctor to diagnose an alphabetical condition and pill them to the eyeballs. Kids watching nudity and listening to four-letter words on TV? Get the govemment to help regulate their viewing.

Never mind parental guidance in developing critical viewing habits. Just push a button. I have to wonder whether TV child locks are a comfort or a cop-out.

The above article appeared in the Brisbane "Sunday Mail" on 13 March


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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