But if You Go Carrying Pictures of Chairman Mao

Being a sunny-side-up kinda guy, the sight of college students, protesters, and/or retarded celebrities consuming Che Guevara-branded merchandise (as memorably rendered in today's terrific reason.tv video on Che-chic), makes me laugh more than seethe, not least because of what Cuban jazz great Paquito D'Rivera observes at the end of the clip: There's something hilariously perverse about a violent anti-capitalist becoming a Western marketing icon. With rare exception, I don't expect much in the way of historical knowledge from Che-shirters, not least because few have been to the island-prison themselves.

Ah, but some have, and still retain their jock-sniffing totalitarian apologia, and this is what makes my brown eyes blue. A decade ago I went to a secretive gathering at a house in Havana, where rebellious youth sat around indulging in the disapproved and even dangerous behavior of ... listening to the Beatles. It was an underground society of sorts, where the kids danced, sang, and gaped at the wonders of the G-sixth chord. None of them could understand what kind of evil, micro-managing jerkoff would criminalize "She Loves You" ... well, except for the American woman who was nice enough to bring me there, a graying hippie named Karen Wald. Yeah, Castro might have gone a bit too far, she said, but it was an "understandable" defense in the face of "Western cultural imperialism."    

If you have never lived or visited a totalitarian country, the concept of political prisoners, show trials, or even government murder are somehow ... abstract. Enemy combatant outrages aside, we generally don't have stuff like that here. But there is something immediately recognizable in the insanity of banning pop, rock, or (another favorite commie target) jazz. It was the 1976 arrest of Czech art-rock band The Plastic People of the Universe, after all, that spurred Vaclav Havel to create the most influential anti-totalitarian dissident group of the past half-century: Charter 77. "Everyone understood," he wrote about the experience later, "that an attack on the Czech musical underground was an attack on a most elementary and important thing, something that in fact bound everyone together: it was an attack on the very notion of living within the truth, on the real aims of life."

Such attacks on "the real aims of life" advertise the fundamental insecurity of regimes (if two-part harmony gives you the vapors, you've got some bigger fish to fry), but they also ooze with a familiar paternalistic contempt for the choices individuals would make if they could. Wald's defense, alas, continues to hold some sway in ostensibly grown-up countries such as Canada and France, where Fear of an American-Pop Planet still informs cultural policy and provides endless fodder for academic seminars. And there's an equally dunderheaded version here in the U.S. and A., where Mexifornia-phobes fret about the "Balkanization" of the very American culture that the rest of the world fears.

Luckily, most people aren't like Wald (or Jacob Weisberg!). When they go to Cuba, they see a country of very nice people who are poor, proud, starved for information, and oppressed. As Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) told us in another memorable reason.tv production, every American should visit Castro's incarnation of Che's paradise. Nothing will disabuse you of juvenile anti-capitalism quicker than seeing the results of 50 years trying it the other way.

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  • ||

    every American should visit Castro's incarnation of Che's paradise

    Whoa. Please, tell us more about people who are historically ill-informed about Che Guevara.

  • Fluffy||

    Cuba is the Pleasantville of the left.

    Political sympathy collides with aesthetic sensibility in a way that makes a certain type of leftist lose their judgment.

    Ordinary tourists love to go to Italian and Greek medieval villages, because pre-consumer society and pre-industrialization landscapes have "charm". The dilapidated Cuban society is an anti-capitalist, anti-consumer society version of that same "charm". Add the words "revolution" and "health clinics" to that charm and there is no way for the leftist mind to resist it.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    See, the Cubans just didn't have the right guy in charge of their socialist paradise.

  • ||

    every American should visit Castro's incarnation of Che's paradise

    Completely valid statement, joe. Castro's implementation of Che's idealism is exactly what you were decrying in the other thread to sever the Che and Castro conflation.

  • EJM||

    And there's an equally dunderheaded version here in the U.S. [of] A., where Mexifornia-phobes fret about the "Balkanization" of the very American culture that the rest of the world fears.

    I will take this opportunity to plug both rockero.com and Batanga.

  • Matt Welch||

    joe -- I meant that more in the sense that Castro brilliantly co-opted Che's image and iconography, so that the guy who did become disillusioned w/ Castro ended up being the personality-cult icon in Castro's country.

  • Seward||

    Matt Welch,

    Both left and right wing dictatorships aren't generally fond of jazz.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    It's not Che's paradise. That's the point - Che split Cuba specifically because the grey, bureaucratid totalitarianism was contrary to what he believed, and thought Castro was betraying his ideals.

    Matt Welch,

    Ah, gotcha now. That's a very good point. I read your comment as meaning exactly the opposite.

    I guess you could say that Che continued to serve Castro, even after he broke with him.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    joe has some kind of emotional investment in being nitpicky and feigning like he is defending Che.

    But he's really not.

    "See, it's historically inaccurate to say that Che wanted Cuba to look like it does under Castro! What, no, I'm not defending Che! I'm just saying it's not accurate to...wait, why am I investing all this time and energy into this argument, you ask?

    I'm an attention whore."

  • ||

    Matt and I say the same thing. I'm wrong and he's right. OK.

  • Cool Cal||

    Matt,

    I'm actually genuinely curious about this, and assume that you would know more about it than I would, having been there yourself -- how much of Cuba's current poverty and the like would you say is the result of their policies as opposed to our embargo. I'm not trying to shit-stir, only that often this is the claim which many, who are Castrophiles, use to justify the state of economic affairs in Cuba, first and foremost.

  • ||

    how much of Cuba's current poverty and the like would you say is the result of their policies as opposed to our embargo.

    Personally, I would put it at about 90% Castro, 10% embargo. Castro's got the rest of the planet to trade with, after all. I'm sure there's some drag on his economy from the US embargo, but I think its probably minuscule compared to the rampant economic destruction that a kleptocratic totalitarian regime usually inflicts.

  • Abdul||

    how much of Cuba's current poverty and the like would you say is the result of their policies as opposed to our embargo.

    Except for tourism, I would guess that our embargo can't hurt them too badly because all of their other products are fungible. Cuban sugar and rum sold to Canada just mean more Puerto Rican rum and sugar for us.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Che bad. Castro bad. Jazz good. Joe wrong. Alright, I think I understand the argument above now. (scratches head in befuddlement)

  • ||

    Naga,

    The Che thread is required reading for this one. How did your final go?

  • Seward||

    joe,

    If Che had his way Cuba would be the left over remnant of a nuclear firestorm.

  • ||

    Why does the guy who jacks every thread into a discussion of me accuse me of wanting the threads to be about me?

    TAO, if I send you a signed picture to keep by your bed, will you let us discuss politics, history, and theory without your emotional outbursts out me?

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    Matt didn't say that Castro had implemented Che's idealism in his government. You did.

    That's why he's right, and why you're wrong.

    I originally thought he had made your argument - you know, the wrong one - but he clarified that he hadn't, but had in fact made the right argument. That is, the one you didn't make.

    Instead of making your incorrect argument, he explained that Castro had appropriated Che's image for propaganda purposes, despite continuing with the substantive pollitical program that had caused their split.

    Get it?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "if I send you a signed picture to keep by your bed"
    I want one, joe, as long as you're in that Batman hat. That hat rocks.

  • Seward||

    Che also favored the disasterous forced industrialization programs that seem to characterize a lot of newly minted communist nations. I would that it was similar to the non-sense that Preobrazhensky argued.

  • ||

    Seward,

    Oh, Che was nuts all right. No question about that.

    He should have stuck with propaganda. As a strategic thinker, he was a mess.

  • ||

    Che also favored the disasterous forced industrialization programs that seem to characterize a lot of newly minted communist nations.

    That's interesting, Seward. Was this one of the areas where he broke with Castro? Industrialization doesn't seem to have been very high on the agenda in Havana over the past few decades.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Oh, Che was nuts all right. No question about that.

    Should have been the first words out of your mouth.

    Castro's implementation of Che's dream required work and bureaucracy, and Che just wanted flight, romantic chances to execute the bourgeois.

    Castro's Cuba is what Che wanted, he just didn't realize it.

  • That\'s Senor Guevara to You||

    I guess you could say that Che continued to serve Castro, even after he broke with him.

    And my handsome mug is even on the Three Peso note!

    It's not Che's paradise. That's the point

    And that's not what Jeff Flake said. He said, "every American should visit Castro's incarnation of Che's paradise".

    Not that it would have been any different or better than it is under the guiding hand of Che.

  • Seward||

    I think the best way to counter Che romanticism is to just tell people look, the guy wanted a nuclear war and if he had control of the missiles in Cuba (which were armed), he claims that he would have launched them.

  • ||

    Should have been the first words out of your mouth.

    God, I hate political correctness. This asshole doesn't even have any disagreement with anything I wrote, but I didn't make the required gestures of political obeisance first.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I just disagreed with stuff you wrote, joe. Read again.

  • Seward||

    joe,

    Yes, from what I have read Che wanted to follow something like the forced, stepped-up industrialization program that had been characteristic of the Stalin's economic planning of the 1930s and of Mao's of the 1960s. How similar they would have been (Mao's and Stalin's plans were quite different in many ways) I cannot say.

  • ||

    Not that it would have been any different or better than it is under the guiding hand of Che.

    I think it would have been different. More decentralized, more "power to the workers councils."

    The point is that, in a revolutionary communist regime, the country won't end up under the "guiding hand" of the people who want that. The centralizing bureaucratic types will always end up with the upper hand, and the Ches (and Trotskys?) will always be outmaneuvered by them.

    When the people are completely shut out of the political process, and it's just a matter of bureaucratic infighting, the bureaucratic types will always beat the grassroots types.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Don't worry, I am still waiting on joe to state whether he would be happy if OBL was killed.

    I bet he would, but he hates to admit it.

  • ||

    Read again.

    No, thanks.

  • ||

    I just disagreed with stuff you wrote, joe.

    No, you didn't. Read again.

  • Naga Sadow||

    SugarFree,

    I think I did bad on both. I was out of school for almost three weeks in November due to a combination of being sick, car breaking down, sick again, dentist appointment, losing the keys to my car, and being sick again. Its hard to make up for that amount of lost class time.

  • ||

    joe,

    Matt didn't say that Castro had implemented Che's idealism in his government. You did.

    Your own words:

    "Che is popular because he broke with Castro over Castro's governing methods. He's seen, rightly or wrongly, as a socialist revolutionary who didn't like communist dictatorship, and thought that the regime Castro set up after coming to power was too tyranical and a betrayal of the ideals it was supposed to represent."

    Go ahead an lie and say the ideals referenced in "a betrayal of the ideals it was supposed to represent" aren't the ideals of Che.

    Therefore "Castro's incarnation of Che's paradise" is exactly what you were saying Cuba is on the other thread.

    Tell me who "Please, tell us more about people who are historically ill-informed about Che Guevara" was supposed to be directed at. Talking about yourself, perhaps?

  • ||

    Matt didn't say that Castro had implemented Che's idealism in his government.

    So, if Che's beef with Castro is that Castro didn't go far enough fast enough, doesn't that mean Che would actually have been worse for Cuba than Castro?

    Che was a notably bloodthirsty fellow, with no apparent understanding of economics or any visible administrative skills. Although typical of his kind, that's not exactly a good resume for Architect of Paradise on Earth.

  • Geotpf||

    You know, I ought to buy one of those Che T-shirts. Not that because I'm an ignorant hippie, but because I like irony.

  • Seward||

    joe,

    All of this stuff arises from the notion of the Theory of Productive Forces. A lot of this spawns obviously from Marx's thoughts on the dialectic, etc.

    The article doesn't note that Adam Smith and the other economists and philosophers of the 18th century Scottish Enlighntement who agreed with Smith had a similar view of social change.

  • ||

    Don't worry, I am still waiting on joe to state whether he would be happy if OBL was killed. You have fun with that. Meaningless gestures of obviousness intended to sooth the feelings of morons are not exactly my speciality. It's more fun to rile you up.

    Seward,

    That's interesting, because the Che/Castro split is often described in terms of Castro being more pro-Moscow, and Che wanting Cuba to be more independent.

  • Seward||

    joe,

    Though they had a far different prescription for how to bring that change about. Thus the "invisible hand" vs. the "planning hand."

  • The Angry Optimist||

    So, I take it the answer is "yes, you would be happy if OBL is killed"

    Meaning that it's OK to be happy when some murderous SOB is killed.

    Meaning that all of your blather about me needing to grow up and killing is something to always be sad about is all bullshit.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    Therefore "Castro's incarnation of Che's paradise" is exactly what you were saying Cuba is on the other thread.

    No, it's not. Castro didn't try to implement Che's ideals. Rather, as I wrote, he broke with them, and set up his regime based on a different set of ideals.

    In the most general sense, they were both communists, but if there's one thing we can learn from the past century of communist history, it's that communists can find an awful lot to disagree about.

    Also, lose the tone. You're getting much too emotional.

  • Seward||

    joe,

    Che wanted to go with the hot, new radical element in the Communist movement - the Chinese. In the 1960s it was a major undercurrent in inter-communist relations.

  • Matt Welch||

    how much of Cuba's current poverty and the like would you say is the result of their policies as opposed to our embargo.

    A snap blind guess would be something like RC Dean's 90/10, or maybe 85/15. Cuba is not just the neighbor of the U.S., it's the neighbor of the entire (and mostly much more prosperous) Caribbean, including a swath of Central and South America. Further, Canada and the E.U. both do a lot of business with Cuba. It's not the embargo that keeps aspirin out of the hands of ordinary Cubans, it's super-shitty economic policies.

    But it *is* the embargo that produces what remains of the anti-American fig leaf that Castro has used to justify his own massive failures and crimes against humanity. Which is the main reason why I think removing it would be the best single thing we can do to begin the process of helping fix a broken country.

  • Naga Sadow||

    What Welch just said! Also, as a capitalist I wanna economically exploit Cuba before my entire belief system is swept into the dust bin of history.

  • ||

    RC Dean,

    So, if Che's beef with Castro is that Castro didn't go far enough fast enough, I don't think that's an accurate way to characterize their differences. It's certainly not how I'd do so.

    ...doesn't that mean Che would actually have been worse for Cuba than Castro? Well GIGO, so since your initial premise is wrong, there can't be a good answer to that question.

    Anyway, I don't think it's possible for a communist country to end up "under Che." It's part of the flaw of communism that its disregard for "bourgeois liberalism" and democracy and representative government - all of which Che was just as eager to suppress - will make it impossible for anyone but the Castro types - the big central planners, to whom locals are just subdivisions of the larger state - to end up in charge.

    Seeds of its own destruction, and all of that.

  • ||

    The Angry Optimist | December 11, 2008, 1:31pm | #

    So, I take it the answer is "yes, you would be happy if OBL is killed"


    You take whatever you want, I'm having a discussion about Cuba, Castro, and communism right now.

    Seriously, stop jacking the thread. I know you're sore about the last one, but don't ruin this one as well.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    you left without answering, joe, and we all know why. It was obvious you were wrong, and I want you to admit you were wrong.

    It's not hard. Just say it.

  • ||

    Seward,

    That's a strange combination - Mao, the agricultural communist's, political plan, but not his economic plan. Stalin, the industrial communist's, economic plan, but not his political plan.

  • ||

    joe,

    Here's how history has to work for your idea to have any validity. Try and follow along...

    Che adopts socialist/communism/marxist ideals. He fights for Castro against the Batista regime, even though he and Castro have no common cause and Che knows this. Despite their totally mismatched ideals, Che continues fighting for the Castro regime that he disagrees with, even running a prison executing political prisoners. Finally, once Castro sets up a state that Che never wanted despite fighting with him for it for years, Che leaves over a disagreement in vision.

    Or here's my version:

    Che and Castro share a vision of a communist paradise and and a disillusioned Che leaves when he sees that Castro is just another two-bit dictator and not a "perfected man."

    See, my vision is actually much kinder to Che. Yours makes him out to be an idiot dupe. But you are too wrapped up into your "Che is awesome" narrative to think for two minutes.

  • Seward||

    Anyway, I'll pick Adam Smith's soft economic determinism over Marx's hard economic determinism - both in its prescriptions and its explanation of social change.

  • ||

    "you left without answering, joe, and we all know why. It was obvious you were wrong, and I want you to admit you were wrong."

    You wouldn't admit that you didn't know that Washington signed a murder confession (you said you couldn't "prove a negative"), then later claimed that you knew about it all along. Let's just say you have small purchase to demand retractions from others.

  • ||

    "As Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) told us in another memorable reason.tv production, every American should visit Castro's incarnation of Che's paradise. Nothing will disabuse you of juvenile anti-capitalism quicker than seeing the results of 50 years trying it the other way."

    And then you can fly on over to Haiti and see that those islands would be screwed even if they did it the capitalist way. They have no resources.

  • Seward||

    Matt Welch,

    Well, I think of it this way - all nations have shitty economic policies (e.g., agricultural tariffs, etc.), but Cuba's are far above average in their shittiness.

  • ||

    TAO,

    I answered you. On the appropriate thread.

  • Geotpf||

    joe-Nobody really cares about all the splits, power struggles, and idelogical clashes between different factions in the various communist/socialist movements in the 20th century. I am aware that there were many, many different communist and socialist groups who all hated each other. Who cares? They were all idiots.

  • Abdul||

    And then you can fly on over to Haiti and see that those islands would be screwed even if they did it the capitalist way. They have no resources.

    Haiti is hardly capitalist. Check out the Cayman Islands for how Laissez Faire should be done.

  • Geotpf||

    Lamar | December 11, 2008, 1:52pm | #

    And then you can fly on over to Haiti and see that those islands would be screwed even if they did it the capitalist way. They have no resources.


    Cuba would be a great tourist destination for Americans (and was, prior to Castro). Although, in this case, the main government stopping it from being so is the American government, not the Cuban one.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    Here's where you go wrong: He fights for Castro against the Batista regime, even though he and Castro have no common cause

    They did have a common cause - they both wanted to set up a communist nation. But, as I've already mentioned, once the idea of communism becomes the reality of communism, there can be very different visions.

    You use the term "two-bit dictator," as if Che was the only one with a principled vision of what he wanted communism to look like, while Castro wasn't even an actual communist. This is wrong - they both held ideals about what an ideal communist state and society should be, but they were incomopatible.

    ee, my vision is actually much kinder to Che. And yet, I don't buy it. Gee, it's almost enough to make one think that I'm making an actual argument based on historical facts, rather than trying to promote Che.

    BTW, you don't ever need to worry about whether I can follow your thinking. Seriously, while you're a juvenile thinker, you're also a very clear writer, so you can just cross "is joe going to be able to follow my amazing thought process" right off your list of things to worry about.

  • Kolohe||

    Industrialization doesn't seem to have been very high on the agenda in Havana over the past few decades.

    I remember vaugely something from at least 10 years ago on 60 min or similar that Cuba had all these factories ready to go but of course were idle due to lack of demand.

    They also, IIRC tried to build a nuclear reactor in the 80's (the type of development both then and now that is strongly associated with industrialization)

    My uneducated guess is that if we lifted the embargo, they would be the China of the Carribean.

  • ||

    joe-Nobody really cares...

    Oh, darn. That guy's not going to buy my book.

    Seriously, "nobody cares" about the ideological conflicts without communism, and the political conflicts they caused? Uh, there have been several thousand dissertations and books written on the subject.

    Hello? China vs. Soviet Union? Yugoslavia and Albania not comfortably within the Soviet orbit? Cambodia and Vietnam?

  • ||

    Trotsky and Lennin? Great Cultural Revolution? Purging of the Gang of Four?

    Left Deviationists? Right Deviationists?

  • Egosumabbas||

    Serious questions to joe:

    1) Do you actually enjoy posting here?
    2) What ideology are you exactly trying to convince people of?

  • ||

    "Juvenile thinker" You always break out the insults when you lose an argument. Stay classy, joe.

  • Seward||

    Probably only academics and political geek types care much about the various factions of communism.

    Kolohe,

    Cuba tried industrialization for a time post-revolution; it tried also to turn every square inch of the island into a sugar field at one time too. The latter was an especially spectactular mess.

  • ||

    Egosummabbas,

    1) Yes.

    2) None.

    I like to argue with smart people who disagree with me. Conservative sites? Let's just say there are a lot of people who disagree with me. Period. Liberal sites? Lots of smart people.

    Hit & Run? Just right.

    If I convninced people here of my ideology, who would I argue with?

  • ||

    You always break out the insults when you lose an argument. Stay classy, joe

    No many how many times I read this, I still can't find the part where you were able to, or even attempted to, rebut what I wrote. Last time I checked, you can't lose a contest when the other guy bails.

  • ||

    And then you can fly on over to Haiti and see that those islands would be screwed even if they did it the capitalist way. They have no resources.

    Neither does Hong Kong. Or Israel. Or Switzerland.

  • MAX HATS||

    As Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) told us in another memorable reason.tv production, every American should visit Castro's incarnation of Che's paradise.



    Sure thing, Jeff, but uh, it's illegal for me to do that. By act of U.S. Congress.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    What, joe? Your not just interested in "constructing understanding™"?

    God, I love that phrase. Thanks, Neu Mejican, wherever you are.

  • ||

    "Neither does Hong Kong. Or Israel. Or Switzerland."

    And I'll admit, they are all beautiful Caribbean paradises. My point is that people point to Cuba rightfully as a wasteland, but they refuse to see that every country in the region is a wasteland. And I'm not talking about the natural beauty. We know communism is a failure. It's just that Cuba isn't a very good example of that proposition because Caribbean nations have a 100% failure rate or close to it.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    You're

  • Seward||

    R.C. Dean,

    Or much of Western Europe for that matter, which doesn't contain generally vast quantities of coal, oil, gold, silver, uranium, etc.

  • ||

    joe,

    Arguing in bad faith and simpering about my "tone" is not winning an argument.

    And before you start whining about "bad faith" here it is:

    Me:
    Che and Castro share a vision of a communist paradise and and a disillusioned Che leaves when he sees that Castro is just another two-bit dictator and not a "perfected man."

    You:

    They did have a common cause - they both wanted to set up a communist nation. But, as I've already mentioned, once the idea of communism becomes the reality of communism, there can be very different visions.

    They are the same statement. I say it = wrong, you say it = right.

    Every four weeks or so I forget you are completely incapable of conducting anything close to an argument in good faith. Learned my lesson. Again.

    You may resume your blind adoration of murderous scumbags without any further interference from me.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I was just in the Virgin Islands, U.S. and British, Lamar.
    Nothing like Cuba.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "simpering."
    Man, we're gonna see that word a lot today.

  • Egosumabbas||

    @joe

    "1) Yes"
    "2) None"
    "If I convninced people here of my ideology, who would I argue with?"

    The point of argumentation is for two parties to come to an agreement on truth. Anything other than that is merely a shouting match or a troll contest.

    Since you've admitted that you have no ideology, it would follow you don't believe in objective truth, and your opinions waver in the breeze.

    Which means that you either love to yell at people or that you're a troll.

  • ||

    "I was just in the Virgin Islands, U.S. and British, Lamar. Nothing like Cuba."

    Any modifiers placed before the words "Virgin Islands" that might give you some insight?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Is your point that maybe the U.S. should have annexed Cuba?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And there are other relatively successful Caribbean nations, of course.

  • ||

    "Is your point that maybe the U.S. should have annexed Cuba?"

    My point is that shitty government is endemic to the region. The fact that communism is a bad system just adds to the fact that whatever system they would have would be poorly run.

    Of course, I recognize that Cubans are generally very industrious. But the brain drain and comfort Cubans have attained in this country doesn't help Cuba's prospects.

    When I said those countries have no resources, I also meant human resources.

  • ||

    And Cuba and the US would be better off if the US had annexed Cuba.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    COUGHCaymanIslandsCOUGH

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I'm still shilling for the (CATO?) idea of Guantanamo as the Hong Kong of the Caribbean.

  • ||

    I'm still shilling for the (CATO?) idea of Guantanamo as the Hong Kong of the Caribbean.

    Now that's a good idea.

  • ||

    "COUGHCaymanIslandsCOUGH"

    COUGHBritishTerritoryCOUGHCOUGHStabilityForFinancialInstitutionsCOUGH

  • ||

    I have an important question!

    Which T-shirt would make me cooler, Moa or Che? I'm trying to impress this cute leftist chick.

  • ||

    phalkor,

    You want a T-shirt depicting a large flightless extinct bird from New Zealand?

  • ||

    Well, what's got more liberal cred? An extinct flightless bird, or and extinct flightless mass-murderin' communist?

    Fuck it, I'm getting a ninja turtles shirt.

  • Kolohe||

    they refuse to see that every country in the region is a wasteland.

    Puerto Rico? Ok that's also cheating. Poor by US state standards (17K per capita income; much lower than Mississippi with it's 36K) but hardly a wasteland. And for the independent countries, they're mostly in the 8K-10K per capita range, which puts them about in the middle of the worldwide lists. yes, Haiti is really really bad, and Cuba data is shiat (but definitely very bad), but you want wasteland, look at Africa

  • ||

    CHE = hero, icon, saint

    This site = sucks

  • ||

    --> A NEW DEFINITION FOR "CHUTZPAH"

    When someone who supports the same country that nuked 2 cities and turned 250,000 people to dust … the same country that fire bombed Dresden and burned 150,000 women and child alive, the same country that killed 15 million Natives because they felt it was their 'manifest destiny' … the same country that enslaved millions of blacks … the same country whose CIA has killed 6 million people since 1950 (John Stockwell) … the same country that invaded Iraq which has caused 950,000 + deaths …

    Not to mention propped up the many brutal tyrants like Pinochet, Suharto, Marcos, and Somoza … backed contra movements through the School of the Americas …

    -> HAS THE CHUTZPAH to pretend to be upset that Cuba under CHE had tribunals (just like the Nuremburg one after WWII the US had) and then as a result had a few hundred of the brutal dictator Batista's convicted henchmen, rapists, & torturers (most who were the secret police of the BRAC and who had killed 20,000 people) executed at La Cabana.

    WOW … there are no words for the audacity of such insanity !

    = Amerikkkan Reich-Wing Propaganda would make Goebbels blush.

  • Abdul||

    Lamar,

    The Cayman Islands aren't a british territory and haven't been for some time.

    The british did given them tax-free status back when they were Jamaica's ugly step-sister. The no-tax policy made the Caymans far more prosperous then the nearby islands with more resources.

  • Matt Welch||

    Sure thing, Jeff, but uh, it's illegal for me to do that. By act of U.S. Congress.

    You might want to follow the link on that one.

  • ||

    SugarFree,

    You don't know what the word "simpering" means. Literally. It has a meaning - affecting a smile.

    They are the same statement. They are not the same statement. I would explain your mistake, the significant part you're missing, for the, I think this would be the fourth, time, but you're clearly not interested, or it would have penetrated your skull by now.

    I just occured to me that I didn't read the part of your comment that begins with "every four week, I think you're..."

    Oh well. I'll just have to live with that.

  • ||

    I'm still shilling for the (CATO?) idea of Guantanamo as the Hong Kong of the Caribbean.

    R C likee.

  • ||

    Ego,

    The point of argumentation is for two parties to come to an agreement on truth. Says who?

    I do it to find out what criticisms and challenges there are to my ideas, so I can consider them, and avoid falling into the trap of assuming they're true because I never hear the other side.

    Since you've admitted that you have no ideology... BZZZZT!!! Oh, so sorry, but you didn't ask what ideology I have. I'm a liberal. You asked what ideology I'm trying to convince people of. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything.

    you don't believe in objective truth, and your opinions waver in the breeze

    Uh, yeah, that's me. No ideology, no firm stands about what's true, and I certainly don't hold to my opinions.

    Um.

    Have a good one!

  • ||

    joe,

    I'll take the OED over you anyday:

    1. That simpers or smiles affectedly. Said of persons or their features. Also transf.

    1586 A. DAY Eng. Secretary I. (1595) 70 Then is she..a simpring puppet to woonder on. 1602 DEKKER Satirom. Wks. 1873 I. 185 These pretty, simpring, setting things, call'd brides. 1648 HERRICK Hesper., To Anthea lying in bed, Like to a Twi-light, or that simpring Dawn, That Roses shew, when misted o're with Lawn. 1768 GOLDSM. Good-n. Man Epil., His simpering friends, with pleasure in their eyes, Sink as he sinks. 1782 F. BURNEY Cecilia I. v, Young ladies dwindle into mere listeners, simpering listeners, I confess. 1826 POLWHELE Trad. & Recoll. I. ii. 29 A pretty silly simpering girl..was dazzled by his wit. 1877 BRYANT Wind & Stream iii, The simpering stream, The fond, delighted, silly stream.

    2. Accompanied by or associated with simpering; mincing, affected.

    1595 T. P. GOODWINE Blanchardine II. (1890) 216 Pacing toward the Queene with a simpering smile, neither presaging mirth nor mourning. 1626 MIDDLETON Women Beware Women III. ii, I had rather hear one ballad sung..Than all these simpering tunes. 1653 R. SANDERS Physiogn. 156 The man walks with a proud and simpring pace. 1712 W. KING Little Mouths 20 Betty, with bridled chin, extends her face, And then contracts her lips with simpering grace. 1862 THACKERAY Round. Papers, Notch on Axe 253, I went on meanly conversing with him, and affecting a simpering confidence. 1865 LIVINGSTONE Zambesi 503 It is no simpering smile.



    Notice the bolded portion:

    simpering about my "tone" is not winning an argument.

    making a mincing or affected comment about my "tone" is not winning an argument

    And back to the OED:

    MINCING 1. a. Of speech, manner, behaviour, physical features, attributes, etc.: affectedly dainty, elegant, or mannered.
    In later (usu. derogatory) use often associated with an effeminate or effete manner or behaviour in a man, esp. a homosexual.



    Any other words you'd like to half-define to your advantage?

    And no, I'm still not interested in the rigged game you call arguing, but I can only stand by and watch you butcher the English language with doublespeak for so long.

  • ||

    "The Cayman Islands aren't a british territory and haven't been for some time."

    I was speaking more about the stability and growth of the financial institutions. No doubt, the Caymanians, or whatever they are called, have played their cards well.

  • ||

    So, in other words, you 1) still don't have any counter arguments to my point, and are basically conceding that you are full of shit, and 2) "acting in an affected homosexual manner about my tone" doesn't make any sense.

    You used the word wrong. Wrong by the dictionary.com definition, wrong by the OED definition you posted instead.

    Ha ha.

  • ||

    BTW, you don't ever need to worry about whether I can follow your thinking. Seriously, while you're a juvenile thinker, you're also a very clear writer, so you can just cross "is joe going to be able to follow my amazing thought process" right off your list of things to worry about.

    Just in case there's any doubt, SugarFree, the contempt I expressed for you here is neither affected, nor dainty, nor an attempt to appear nice.

    Words mean things. You got this one wrong, chief.

  • ||

    Which means that you either love to yell at people or that you're a troll.

    Some have theorized that Joe is a very sophisticated troll.

    I have been reading this blog for several years and I have noticed a few things about our dear Joe:

    1) He very rarely jokes or laughs. The best you can hope from him is a civil tone.

    2) He very rarely acknowleges those who agree with him.

    3) He never admits he is wrong.

    4) If you have a fact that totallly destroys his argument, he will exit the thread, never to be heard from again (see #3).

    5) He possesses a near supernatural ability to antagonize those of us with a right of center view point.

  • ||

    Oh, good, more people talking about me.

    Maybe we can a thread per day dedicated to my awesomeness, debates about whether I'm a troll, and variations on the term "partisan," and keep the actual threads clear for discussion of more important things.

    Like, for example, educating SugarFree on parts of speech.

    Arguing in bad faith and simpering about my "tone" is not winning an argument.

    That's a verb, SugarFree.

    verb (vûrb) Pronunciation Key
    n.
    Abbr. V or vb.
    The part of speech that expresses existence, action, or occurrence in most languages.
    Any of the words belonging to this part of speech, as be, run, or conceive.
    A phrase or other construction used as a verb.


    So, what do the different dictionaries on dictionary.com give as the verb definition of "simper?"

    sim·per (sĭm'pər) Pronunciation Key
    v. sim·pered, sim·per·ing, sim·pers

    v. intr.
    To smile in a silly, self-conscious, often coy manner.
    v. tr.
    To utter or express with a silly, self-conscious, often coy smile: simpered a lame excuse.

    verb
    1. smile affectedly or derisively [syn: smirk]

    1. To smile in a silly, affected, or conceited manner.
    2. To glimmer; to twinkle. [Obs.]

    And here's the OED verb definition, which you, in your self-serving and half-defining way, decided not to post:

    1. to smile in a silly, self-conscious, or affected manner; to smirk.
    2. to say or udder with a simper.

    Got that, chief? Wow, I see the words "smile" and "affected" in there an awful lot. And nothing about mincing. Or effeminate.

    Please, lecture me more about the English language.

    PS, lecture is a verb, too.

  • ||

    Except the OED doesn't misspell "Utter."

    joez law!

  • ||

    joe: smarter than the Oxford English Dictionary.

    Right. Christ, you are pathetic. Who did you blow to get on the debate team again?

  • ||

    John Depp...isn't he a French pirate or something?

  • ||

    "if two-part harmony gives you the vapors you have bigger fish to fry..."

    Go ahead and have the fish. We have Beano(tm).

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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