Leftists like to quote this Voltaire, usually whining that the evil empire of Republican America crushes them for speaking against it, or that criticizing Israel’s right to defend itself might be called antisemitism. After all, look what happened to the Dixie Chicks after they stuck it to George Bush!!!
This doesn’t take into account that others are allowed to criticize back in the free world. It reveals ingratitude and entitlement and the utter disconnection from the facts that freedom is rare and precious and we landed in it because heroes risked and gave their lives. It is not the natural state and it is still rare around the world.
A few weeks ago, six Palestinian men were shot point blank in the streets of Gaza, then at least one was tied to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets. That’s what happens when you dissent from Palestinian propaganda.
You might be called an antisemite, and rightfully so, if you criticize Israel’s right to exist. But no Jew is going to cut off your head to silence you. Indeed, Israel is so moral that even though they technically have the death penalty, they’ve only used it twice. Criticize actual crimes within Islam, however, such as the death penalty for blasphemers, and you risk being put to death. Even if you don’t live under sharia law. Vigilante violence is common- recall the innocents around the world slaughtered by mobs in protest of the Florida pastor’s burning of the koran. Saudis and Iranians can burn countless bibles, and egyptians and nigerians can burn churches with Bibles and living people in them, but this act meant innocents were butchered thousands of miles away. How many human rights activists, Muslims and ex-Muslims live with bodyguards because death threats and attempts on their lives are commonplace, even in America or Holland or Canada?
The jails in Cuba are overflowing to this day with writers and artists and homosexuals and blacks- since communism is about erasing individuality and making everyone the same, those who hold different views are tortured or put to death. In communist China and Russia, countless millions were executed for political dissent. In socialist Germany, aiding and abetting Jews or views contrary to the Fuhrer’s meant certain death or exile.
The next time useful idiots of the left “occupy” or howl in Adbusters about the evils of capitalist culture, they might use a few brain cells and think about the actual record of the systems that they are fighting for. Very righteously they pretend to care about the poor, the female, and the freedom to speak against the state. And they never think for a moment that, despite its flaws, the state they live in is the freest, most equal, most prosperous one that has ever existed. Capitalism and freedom go hand in hand, and anyone who cares about the poor or the right to dissent ought to be fighting tooth and nail to bring capitalism to the places that don’t have it, so they can share in the freedom that we have.
Fidel Castro, Inc, by Maria Werlau
Since 1997, Forbes magazine has featured Fidel Castro in its annual Billionaires‟ edition as one of the richest rulers in the world. Initially, Forbes assigned to Castro a share of Cuba’s reported GDP (gross domestic product) for the previous year, which yielded a fortune of approximately $150 million. Since 2003, however, it began using a method similar to that used to estimate the fortunes of businesspeople and other royals and rulers. Using academic sources, Forbes identified several enterprises said to be controlled by Castro and determined their value by comparing them to similar publicly-traded companies. This has resulted in the more recent estimate of $500 million for Castro‟s fortune.
Aside from the difficulties inherent in estimating the value of privately-held companies lacking financial disclosure, Forbes‟ calculation of Fidel Castro‟s fortune is fraught with other obstacles. Due to a severe lack of information, the number of enterprises it took into account was very restricted in relation to the large number of businesses said to be under Castro‟s control. In addition, Forbes ‟calculation of Castro‟s net worth fails to take into account funds in bank accounts all over the world, large inventories of assets inside Cuba, and real estate holdings both in Cuba and overseas, all reported to belong to Castro. Yet, given the serious methodological flaws of Cuba‟s GDP statistics and Forbes‟ past practice of using only one year as the basis for its calculation, the new approach provides a sounder approximation to Castro‟s wealth. Although it probably falls well short of Castro‟s actual holdings, at least its foundation is the market value of clearly designated assets.
Not surprisingly, the Cuban government has long disputed Forbes ‟inclusion of Castro in their list. It publicly responded for the first time in 2004 by issuing a statement that “the revenues of Cuban state companies are used exclusively for the benefit of the people, to whom they belong.” Fidel publicly rebuked Forbes report and said he was considering a lawsuit against the magazine for libel.