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Six Weeks of Communists, Libertarians, Capitalists and Socialists

I’ll avoid the conclusions; they are for you to reach. I’ll just present the observations. Over a period of six weeks, I spent my time in roughly equal parts in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Cuba proudly proclaims itself a communist state. For fifty years, it has delighted in being the booger on the lapel of Uncle Sam’s fine and festive coat. Billboards all across the island remind Cubans of their communist and socialist heritage and strength.

The Dominican Republic appears to be as libertarian as any state in our hemisphere. Government regulation is minimal. The regulation that does exist doesn’t seem to be strictly enforced unless it serves to protect the individual rights of those in power. The common man in the D.R. has individual freedom whether he likes it or not.

Puerto Rico is a “possession” of the United States and shares our capitalistic ethos, system of government and economic structure (whether the people want it or not). It is exactly as it is in any other part of the United States except that the climate and geography are completely different, the history and heritage bear little similarity the rest of the U.S., its culture, music, dance, food, etc. are Latin, it is more racially homogenous and the people speak a different language. Other than that, it’s Ames, Iowa all over again.

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A Review of Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story”

Michael Moore, the leftist the right would like left behind, has done it again.  Capitalism: A Love Story is in theaters around the nation.  As much to annoy my right leaning friends as anything else, I attended opening night.  I’ve always enjoyed Moore’s work even if he did every now and again take a bit of literary license.  His intention has always been to be provocative.  Love him or hate him, you can’t deny he’s been successful at that.

Moore’s newest film differs from his previous documentaries in that it is more humorous and less focused.  The film is interspersed with plenty of the dry humor for which Moore has become known.  His attempts to make “citizen’s arrests” are laden with his trademark humor that has everyone laughing but the FOXites and the subjects of his jokes.  Although, in one instance, a New York Police officer can be seen putting forth a Herculean effort to keep from cracking up.  Regardless of your political views, the movie is worth seeing if for nothing more than the laughter in brings.

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How to Cure Anything

There probably aren’t a lot of us left that remember the old childhood remedies. When we took a nasty spill and scuffed up the elbows or cut a finger, it was time for a painful, stinging and staining application of iodine. It hurt. Sometimes it was worse than the wound itself. Until the stain wore off the skin, it was a badge of honor to a young boy. It showed he was tough enough to survive not only the wound, but the treatment.

For every ailment iodine didn’t cure, there was Castor Oil. According to Wikipedia, Castor Oil was used for skin problems, burns, sunburns, skin disorders, cuts, abrasions, styes in the eye, stomach aches, cramps, muscle pains, skin eruptions, inflammatory conditions, lesions and more. It was even used to induce childbirth, an effect that fortunately never worked on me. This is just the short list. My grandmother could have added five more pages to the litany.

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Bailout – Suckers Need Not Apply

The Obama administration has come forth with a plan to rescue the nation’s housing sector.  The multi-faceted program encourages lenders to rewrite first home mortgages for many Americans.  Lower interest rates, lower principal amounts, longer terms, an array of tools are to be used to bring American homeowners and lenders back into the real world.  Obviously, urgent action is in order.  Hopefully, Obama’s plan will bring us safely home.

There is one bit of recurrent theater in the foreground that keeps me wondering.  Everyone from the President on down, Democrats and Republicans alike, feel compelled to point out that there is to be no relief for those who purchased homes with mortgages they could not afford.  The implication is that those nasty thieves were up to no good when they grabbed the easy money and ran with it.

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Allen’s Capitulation to Babs

Like any middle-aged woman confronted with post-mid-life crisis, Babs has thrown a tantrum in the wake of my suggestion that basic scientific research should not be cut from the economic stimulus plan.  It is a rare instance when I’m obliged to say “You’re right”, to Babs, but at least in part, this is one of those instances.  I suspect her partially correct contention may be more the result of chance than from any cogent, intellectual cogitation.  I find she is correct nonetheless.

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The Choirboy’s gettin a New Healthcare Hymn Book

In a perverse sort of way this is going to be just too funny.  Some projections show unemployment headed into double digits.  In some areas like Michigan, the goal is get it down to ten percent.  For many of those who can’t find work, the situation is critical.  Others see the handwriting on the wall and live day-to-day in fear knowing the pink slip isn’t far away. Continue reading

Communists – They Walk Amongst Us

With the release of the movie about Che Guevara, one of the leaders of the Cuban revolution, communism is again center stage.  Ultra-socialist and Castro-clone Hugo Chavez just received an overwhelming mandate from the Venezuelan people that allows him to remain head of state indefinitely.  With our economy sinking, critics of unrestrained capitalism are growing in number and having a field day pointing to its apparent demise.  As American workers continue to join the ranks of the unemployed, conditions march steadily toward those that existed when Carl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto.  Those that declared the end of communism with the destruction of the Berlin Wall may have donned their party hats and celebrated with premature enthusiasm.

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