MDC HO and HOn3 Shays?

David Nebenzahl wrote:


Well yes, Cuba bought it's railway equiment from the only obvious suppliers in the region, the USa. In point of fact, it was the owners of the sugar and fruit industries that built the railways - US corporations.
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P. Roehling wrote: [...]

>

No, it has to do with the trade embargo imposed by the US, which forced Castro to turn to the Russians for trade (and triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis.) Castro wanted to trade with the US, you know. But I guess you weren't around when Castro overthrew whatsisname - you know, Batista, the pig who ran the country before Castro. It's instructive to read TIME magazine from the time they reported on Castro's band of romantics hiding out in the hills, through the first weeks/months of the revolution, to the turnabout in US policy when Castro made it clear he wouldn't play the same game as Batista did.

Oh, the Cubans voted alright. Lots of times. But unlike the US ruling class, which offers a "choice", Castro was upfront: "We're in charge. Deal with it."
Not that the US is unique. In every democracy, the ruling class makes sure that the gummint will do their bidding. "Free speech" is a nice little safety valve, and has the inestimable value of revealing the real trouble makers, that is, the ones who aren't satisfied with mere bitching, but actually want to change the system. "They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within. We're coming now, we're coming to reward them -- first we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin." (Leonard Cohen. Great song - there are several versions on YouTube, easy to find. Written about 40 years ago.)

Well, slavery is a bit strong, I think. Especially from a person who lives in a country where most workers do not belong to a union, and must take whatever shit the boss deals out to them.
The world ain't perfect, P. R, but it ain't as bad in non-American places as some Americans seem to think it is. And oddly enough, most of the world does not want to be American.
Pax vobiscum.
--
wolf k.

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Bullshit. Read my reply to Greg. The entire *world* was available as Cuba's trading partners. The only one's who'd do much were the Russians -who paid wildly inflated prices for Cuban sugar- and even *they* bailed out when they could no longer afford to continue supporting Castro.

And you find that to be either admirable or justifiable? (boggle)

Piffle. Anyone who lacks the means to change his station in life -or his system of government- is a slave: no "ifs", "ands", or "buts" about it.

Oh crud. Anyone in the US is free to walk away from his job any time he wants to and seek a better one. I've done exactly that several times in my life, and profited thereby. Asians and Latinos also know this perfectly well, and immigrate here in hordes -both legal and otherwise- every single day; seeking fortunes that many of them will indeed find because rather than sit around and whine about life's injustices they buckle down and work their collective asses off!

A common -and arrogant- assumption. You assume that we think that they *should* want to be American, but in 64 years I've yet to meet a single American who's ever said anything like that.
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On 2/21/2008 8:03 PM P. Roehling spake thus:

The smug attitude of American superiority, of American Exceptionalism, is so ingrained in us that we don't need to say it. It's an implicit assumption. The rest of the world needs to be like us. We're the new Crusaders, come to bring the Holy Cross of the free market and "democracy" (as we define it, of course) to the whole world.
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"P. Roehling" wrote:

If your embargo had no effect then you would never have imposed it and you certainly wouldn't have continued it for fifty years. There's no way to ship from Cuba in economic quantities because all shipping in the region goes via the US.

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P. Roehling wrote:

[...]
The US embargo applied to all US companies and their foreign subsidiaries.
Cuba has sugar and cigars, and tourism. These do bring in some foreign money, but obviously not enough. One reason is that they've converted a lot of sugar cane fields to other food crops. Did you know that until Castro's evil communism was imposed on Cuba, Cuba imported over half of its food? The main source of US dollars was US tourism, which has been cut off. Why? Does the US gummint really believe that Americans will be infected with the communist virus if they happen to see that Cuba isn't such an evil place after all?
The only Cubans who suffered after Castro were the fat pigs that benefitted from Batista's rule. And they didn't suffer much. Most of them got away in good time and settled in Florida, from where they have been corrupting US politics ever since.
Punishing the Cuban people because Castro turned out to have his own agenda is the worst sort of colonialism. If the US gummint had ignored those Floridian Cubans, they would have been able to accommodate to Castro, he wouldn't have turned to Russia, and we wouldn't have come close to WW3. Etc.
Methinks "communism" for you is worse than a red flag for a bull. Get over it. Politics is not religion.
Peace,
--
wolf k.

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On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 09:17:48 -0500, Wolf K. wrote:

If only the obverse were also true.
--
Steve

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And you'd be wrong; which is not an uncommon circumstance.
I dislike autocratic governments of all sorts, including our current administration.

My, but you *can* act like an arrogant little prick when the spirit moves you.

Straw man. Nobody said it was.

Hint: If you want peace, Wolf, don't do things that are calculated to start a war.
I mention this only because flinging three insults in the space of one paragraph, and then following them with "Peace", demonstrates that you're unclear on the concept.
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"P. Roehling" wrote:

You mean like wanting self-government instead of foreign power controlled corruption? (Cuba, Iraq) You mean things like trying to reunite one's country after centuries of being occupied by foreign powers? (Korea, Vietnam) Being close to nations wanting to reunite ...? (Laos) You mean like trying to turn your nation into a drug free, war-lord free, law abiding nation? (Afghanistan) You mean like wanting self-government instead of Feudal monarchy and corruption? (Saudi, Kuwait)
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I meant precisely what *I* said, not whatever straw men *you* choose to erect and then pretend I meant. (Insanity has frequently been defined as repeating the same illucid action over and over again, while resolutely expecting a different result each time.)
You really shouldn't have slept through those English classes.
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"P. Roehling" wrote:

OK, resistance is futile - we should all bow down and be absorbed by ...
Hell P.R. your system doesn't even work in the resource rich USa, let alone the real world.
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P. Roehling wrote:

Aw, gee, PR, they were not intended as insults. You have a remarkably thin skin. And if you take that as insult, so be it. It's intended as diagnosis. ;-)
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P. Roehling wrote:
First off, I think you may find the following interesting. "Fred" is a 'Nam vet, among other things. He's a curmudgeon, but a thoughtful one. ;-)
http://www.fredoneverything.net/index.html
[...]

No. That's just the way it is. Maybe I'm a little less starry-eyed than you, even though you've lived through the same chunk of the 20th Century as I have.

To be able to change your station in life you need resources, which most people don't have. The main resources are income and education. One of the side effects of the high costs of post-secondary education is that a smart lower-class kid is only about half as likely to get into college as an average or dumb upper-class kid. And that smart lower class kid is often the only one that the family can afford to send to college.

So you had the resources to do that. So did I. But it was also the luck of the draw. We belong to a generation that benefitted from a labour shortage, so we could and did change jobs just about we wanted. (I walked off a job once because I didn't like the boss's attitude. It was a construction job, I just dropped my shovel and asked for my pay.) Back then, the participation rate (proportion of population in paid employment) was under 30%. Now it's well over 60%. Back then, gummint economists had conniptions when the unemployment rate exceeded 3%. Now they talk about 6% as being the normal rate. Back then, a family could live a decent if not lavish middle class life on a single income. Now it takes at least 1-1/2 incomes. Etc.

Well, I have. We used to get Reader's Digest in the 40s and 50s - my father was an interpreter for the US occupying forces. Every issue had several articles which were thinly disguised exhortations to Be Like US. RD still has such articles, but they are not as blatant. And US foreign policy includes large dollops of this attitude (when it isn't dominated by paranoid delusions that They Are Out To Get US.)
I don't doubt that in your circle this attitude is never stated, and I know it's not the majority attitude. But We Others remember the times when it is stated, and I've heard it several times. The funniest was a guy we met in the dome car on the Canadian, who was convinced we Canucks were oppressed by a communist gummint -- because we had socialised medicine! My son, who was 12 at the time, has a disabling chronic medical condition, and has been a political junkie all his life, tried to defend the Canadian Way of Healthcare. The more facts he offered, the crazier the other guy's arguments became. At one point he claimed that the Mounties had a dossier on every one of us, to ensure we wouldn't infect the country with notions of free enterprise! Well, the Mounties did have a lot of dossiers - on people they suspected of "communist sympathies", as it was called at the time. -- The guy's fellow Americans in the dome car apologised to us for his rants, but we assured them we found the guy to be fine entertainment. ;-)
HTH
--
wolf k.

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So it's good voting when you have to vote for one choice?

You are saying the existance of unions is evidence of democracy ... if all citizens belong to one??

So how many unions in Cuba?
Zero is good a few is bad?
Interesting.
Paul
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Paul Newhouse wrote:

My argument is just as logical as the one I'm rebutting.
I guess I should use a few more <irony> markers, eh?
--
wolf k.

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On 2/21/2008 7:00 PM P. Roehling spake thus:

Interesting that you think the availability of model railroad locos and post-1959 automobiles are the ultimate measure of the goodness of a government.
(So far as Cuban "elections" go, I don't think they even qualify as bad jokes on democracy. Like I said, the system's imperfect; but with many benefits: decent universal health care, near-universal literacy, and, as someone else pointed out, all in the face of a crippling embargo.)
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I didn't say that at all -and you know it- but lacking any way to show that I was wrong about Cuba being an economically failed Communist dictatorship, you try to play "straw man" to cover your tracks.
Tsk!

"Imperfect"?? Yeah, I guess you could say that. You could also call the Marianas Trench "a little deep" and Mount Everest "reasonably tall".
And your "crippling embargo"? Just another straw man. Cuba was perfectly free to deal with anyone they wanted to -other than the US- but only the Russians would pay the outrageously inflated prices they wanted for their Cuban sugar crop, and even Russia dropped out of *that* subsidy game. (And kindly note that despite have economically recovered, Russia has not resumed trying to prop up Cuba. Gosh, I wonder why? Does the phrase "good money after bad" ring a bell?)
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On Thu, 21 Feb 2008 23:52:43 -0800, P. Roehling wrote:

Gee, I wonder when the US government will drop out of teh sugar subsidy game? Perhaps you could ask Morticia - er, uh, Kaherine Harris - who is a child of such subsidies.
--
Steve

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If I had my way, we'd be out of the farming subsidy business tomorrow morning. It was a good idea when it first began, and 90% of American farms were owned by the farmers who lived on and worked them, but now the huge majority of farms are owned by super-corporations who bank the tax-payer funded subsidies, and pay very little in return.
But are you seriously equating our government's subsidys for -largely undeserving- US farms with the former USSR's foreign aid to Cuba?

Hello? Does that have anything to do with the subject at hand??
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On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 12:25:32 -0800, P. Roehling wrote:

She certainly has a lot to do (through her voter roll manipulations) with the cowardly draft-dodging weasel in the White House being there, and I haven't heard anything from his quarter regarding ending subsidies to those wealthy Florida Republicans sugar barons from which she sprang.
--
Steve

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