Drumpf’s Muslim Ban

I feel I couldn’t really remain silent on the subject of His Excellency King Drumpf’s recent executive order barring Muslims from entering the country, including U.S. Citizens originally born in predominantly Muslim countries, I saw this tweet:

ibrahim-tweet

It got me thinking about a man I knew once upon a while ago, Victor (real name Dharkur). He was Iraqi by birth, but when we invaded Iraq he defected to the U.S. And joined the U.S. Army as a translator and interpreter. He had taken a furlough of sorts into the Reserves to pursue his Engineering degree and he had gotten a job at the place I was working at the time.

He and I had several interesting conversations about Islam and it is thanks, in part, to him that when I wrote The Sultana’s Journey as part of my book Escort that I knew enough to make sense of how going on Hajj worked.

I never once felt unsafe with this man around, and considering we were in a law-enforcement type of setting I felt buoyed with him acting as my backup. As the senior officer I knew I could send him to do a task and he would accomplish it and that if I needed aid with something, Victor would be there for me.

We only worked for a few weeks together before a more permanent position became available for him at another location.

He had once lived in the south where he was engaged to a nice young white girl. Her family was Southern Baptist and at a gathering her father, uncles, and two brothers cordoned him off to the side and told him he had five minutes to leave or they were going to shoot him. His fiancée said, “No, they’re serious. I love you…so you should leave.”

As he was driving away he looked back to see the uncles coming out of the house carrying shotguns. That was how America thanked him for aiding us in battle. Keep in mind that neither of the five men about to shoot him had seen a day in the military and this was a career soldier they were about to murder. True patriotism there, I must say.

Now to be fair I only know a few dozen Muslims, but I’ve yet to meet one that made me feel unsafe. I, however, am intimately acquainted (and often times related) to violent Christians. People who regularly say things like, “We should just nuke the whole Middle East.”

christianity-like-radical-islam

Yes, because nothing proves you’re more peaceful than something like talking about murdering millions of innocent people because they pray the same god as you, but call him by a different name.

I feel much safer in a group with the Muslim acquaintances I have than the Christians I know. So if we really want to ban a hateful religion, Islam isn’t the one I’m afraid of.

~RCS

Viva Fidel Castro? I suppose not…

For those of you who pay no attention to the media, Cuban ex-President Fidel Castro died a day or so ago.  There is a political divide in this country (and several other countries in the world) over whether Fidel Castro was a good man or not and whether or not he was a good president or not.  The divide is so prominent in the U.S. that we’ve essentially been at one-step-away-from-war with Cuba for almost twice as long as I’ve been alive.

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.” -Fidel Castro (not really)

But what we must remember is that much of the cruelty Castro is accused of…is because of the United States meddling in his country.  Much of the death toll associated with his regime are CIA-funded counter revolutionaries and assassins sent by the U.S. to destabilize Cuba and oust Castro.

Castro and his cronies ‘Che’ Gueverra and the current president of Cuba, Raul Castro, led a popular revolt to oust the American-backed president, Fulgencio Batista.  In the first 50 years of Castro’s regime he is popularly regarded as killing or imprisoning 50,000 people.  Batista was in power for 10 years and killed or imprisoned 20,000 people.  If we assume that would have continued he would have a death toll of closer to 100,000 people in the same amount of time Castro was in power.

So let’s talk a bit about Batista.  Donald Trump, our future president came out cheering on social media over Castro’s death.  This id kind of interesting considering Batista was first elected president of Cuba in 1940 as a Democratic Socialist.  He was pro-union, pro-labor law, and anti-Fascist and an accomplished military veteran (everything Trump isn’t and everything he hates).  He won around 56% of the vote, in the 1940 election.

Y’know, the look of this guy reminds me of someone Maybe I’ll think of it as we continue?

Batista’s regime lasted only 4 years and the man he groomed to replace him lost in the 1944 election.  It is believed that Batista embezzled almost the entirety of Cuba’s treasury and fled to the U.S. before the next President could be sworn in.  Batista spent the next few years living a life of luxury in the U.S. where he ran for re-election as a Cuban Senator in absentia (this means he won the position, despite not even being in Cuba).  With this new position as Senator secured he returned to Cuba and ran for President in 1952.

It was a triple-threat race with the popular vote heading starkly toward Cuba’s Partido Orthodoxo party with a respectable second being the Cuban Partido Autentico party.  Running a distant third was Batista’s party.  So a few months before the election with almost no hope of actually winning, he secured his old military contacts and staged a military revolution.  He declared himself President, cancel the elections, and exiled then-president Carlos Prio Socarras from the country.  Well okay to be fair, Socarras was a bit of a dupe and apparently didn’t believe that Batista would actually stage a coup, so he did nothing to respond to the attacks when they occurred.  Once Batista took control and named himself President, Socarras quietly ceded defeat and fled the country.

Ah! There it is; that's who he reminds me of!

Ah! There it is; that’s who he reminds me of!

This is where the fun part occurs!  The U.S. government recognized Batista’s as the legitimate government and remained allies with Cuba, under Batista.  Now to be fair, sections of Cuba did continue to prosper under Batista – he wasn’t a complete idiot when it came to administration.  He was actually a pretty good government administrator.  But at this point he began a new direction where he desired more personal wealth, more power, and more respect – particularly from those of the upper echelons of Cuban society.

Batista got in deep with organized crime and American business.  In one instance Batista allowed an American phone company to raise their service rates to Cuban by an astronomical rate (he, naturally, received kickbacks from them).

And the number one form of aid from the U.S. to Cuba during Batista’s reign?  Weapons.  The U.S. supplied Batista’s police forces and his military with the munitions they needed to ensure someone didn’t pull a Batista and raise their own military revolution.  U.S. government officials even referred to him as a ‘despot’, but he was anti-communist by this point (remember that he got elected on a pro-Communist ticket in the 1940 election) and so that made him pro-America in the 1950s.

JFK was anti-Batista and actually, at least secretly, approved of Castro’s revolution when it began.

Yup, I can definitely see it. *Disclaimer: Artificial Colorization

Yup, I can definitely see it.
*Disclaimer: Artificial Colorization

You see Fidel Castro was a young lawyer, a rising star in the political spectrum of Cuba.  Right up until Batista canceled the elections that were supposed to bring Castro to the forefront.

Batista held fraudulent elections in 1954 and the man who had once defeated his protégé was the major runner-up against him.  Batista used brutal intimidation tactics to keep people from voting for anyone but him, or for voting for anyone at all.  Batista convinced the opposing parties in the election to abstain from voting if they opposed him.  This would be the equivalent of saying, “Well I support Hillary Clinton, so I just won’t vote that way I can’t vote for Donald Trump.”  In the election that Batista legitimately won over 75% of the country voted…in this one only 45% of the country voted.  Batista’s opposition dropped out of the election out of fear for their supporters.  The funny thing is…the guy still won almost 7% of the vote after dropping out of the race.

Batista began a campaign of brutality against his own people including killing University Students because his regime deemed all unemployed youth to be potential revolutionaries.  He shut down the universities and recalled a military officer who was popular to help support him.

Sadly for him, said officer led a military revolution.  It was found out though and Batista won the fight.  Eventually Castro would gain enough support from the people to overthrow Batista and force him to flee to Europe.

So as we remember Castro upon his recent death at the age of 90.  Remember that the U.S. of the 1950s created the Castro regime.  We created it by keeping such a vile piece of brutality in power as Batista.  Castro may not have been the perfect president, but I believe he was better than the alternative.

At least the good news is the U.S, doesn’t stand beside brutal dictators that turn the military on their own people any longer.  Right?

syrian-deathtolls

Oh…yeah…I forgot we don’t learn from our mistakes.  Damn it.

~RCS

The Hamilton-Pence Affair

I put this up on my Facebook account about a week ago.  Figured there are some people who check the site, but don’t follow us on Social Media.  So here’s the Pence/Hamilton post I’d done:
On the subject of the Hamilton cast singling out VP-elect Pence, particularly regarding Van Zandts’ recent comments about how the people on stage shouldn’t single out people in the audience I have only one thing to say and in 4 points:
1. Think back to a few years ago when Hugh Jackman was on stage for a play and a guy’s cell phone rang in the audience.  We all laughed and cheered when Jackman singled him out and chided him.
2. I assume that Trump and his Trumpsters (my personal colloquialism for his most fervent supporters) would also agree that no other stage should be turned into a forum for political speech; not just a broadway play that is literally about political, right?  Something like…a Ted Nugent concert, or the Ramones getting inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame, or a Megadeath frontman claiming that Barack Obama staged the Aurora Theater massacre and the nutjob who shot up that Sihk temple.
3. I can only assume that all the people claiming that the Hamilton cast was out of line to address Pence that way would be just as upset if the cast had endorsed Pence, right?  I mean after all the argument isn’t that they denounced Pence – especially since they technically didn’t, they asked him to be true to his and his leader’s word and run the country for the betterment of everyone in the country, not just a select few – but that the issue is that they used the stage to single out a politician and address him, openly, period.  So if Pence went to see a showing of Other People’s Money and they singled him out, thanked him for watching the show, and then applauded his efforts as Governor and future VP that you would all be just as upset by them politicizing a theater stage.  Yes?
4. And finally…the fact the media and Trump made a bigger deal out of it than Pence.  Pence, dirt-bag that he is, actually said in an interview that he wasn’t that upset about it and then said that the Hamilton show was great and the cast, talented.
 
And that’s my thoughts on the Hamilton matter.
~RCS

New Year Stupidity

Well it’s the new year, we’re now into 2012.  I’ve recently purchased one of those page-a-day calendars.  This particular one is The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said.  18 years of the stupidest quotes by celebrities, politicians, and athletes.  Al of the quotes are supposed to be from 1995-2011.

So periodically I’ll update you folks with some good, or bad as the case may be, quotes from it.

Let’s start off with the first two, since we’re up to January 2nd, already.

January 1st, 2012

“In life you have to rely on the past, and that’s called history.”

-Donald Trump, on Celebrity Apprentice

That’s right; Donnie-boy’s always a good start for the stupidest things ever said.  Donald Trump says stupid things and winds up being called a genius.  You know why?  Because he calls himself a genius and we, as Americans, are generally simple enough to think, “Well if he’s brash and arrogant enough to call himself a genius and a man of wealth, it must be true!”

In reality he’s just a really good marketer and has enough money to live a posh lifestyle, even though he’s had numerous buildings foreclosed upon has a few bankruptcies under his belt.  Not exactly the heroic job-creator he claims to be.

January 2nd, 2012

This one’s interesting in that it’s not so much stupid as ridiculous.  This rapport was written on a car insurance claim form by a claimant who had struck a cow with their vehicle.

Q. What warning was given by you?

A. Horn.

Q. What warning was given by the other party?

A. Moo.

Makes sense to me…give the man his money.

And y’know what, since I won’t see you folks again until Wednesday.  Here’s tomorrow’s quote, so you can feel like you’re looking into the future:

January 3rd, 2012

Ms. Crystal Lemcke has a few actual questions/comments received by Hotel front desk employees from their customers.  The italicized parts are my own commentary.

*Are you open on Weekends?

Nope, sorry, you’ll have to find some room under the bridge nearby during the weekends.

*Are we confined to our rooms or are we allowed to go out?

Remember the lyrics?  “You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.”  Apparently someone took that literally.

*How dare you fold the towels in the room like that!  That’s not how I fold them at home!  I reserved this room a month ago; you knew I was coming here!

If you’d like we can fold you into a rug and shove you over the bridge where we keep our guests during the weekend closures.  Let me call Mr. Gambino to assist you.

Go here if you’d like to have your own calendar like this, which I highly suggest; especially since it’s entirely recyclable: The pack plastic can be recycled and you can reuse each day’s sheet as notepaper by writing on the blank back.  Or you can go here to check out the writers’ site.

~RCS

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