Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Village Voice gets it right, and so does Amnesty

Amnesty International, the organization to which I belonged for 20 years (but no longer do), still does some good work. As some commenters here have pointed out, AI has reported on bad conditions in prisons in Castro's Cuba--not quite a "Gulag," of course, but still, it noticed.

That's more than the NY Times has done. Nat Hentoff points this out in the Village Voice, of all places. He reports on some strange doings in Cuba lately, and not just at Guantanamo. There are indications that perhaps the purple finger revolution has even started to reach that beautiful and beleaguered island so close to our shores.


At 1:34 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger sygamel said...

A former Amnesty member you were, neo-neocon. You really were firmly planted in liberalland.

At 2:30 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger Pancho said...

That is a surprising article from the Village Voice. I'd love to go to Cuba someday, a free Cuba. My long gone grandparents were frequent visitors there in the early 50's. A special memento from them are castanets, hand made with "Havana" carved on one side, "Wallace", that's me...on the other.

At 4:28 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pancho, my parents went there on their honeymoon. 1941. They flew there on a tiny little airplane. Brave!

At 4:43 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My conversion occurred quite a long time ago. 1983.

You can read about it here:


Today is my first visit to your site.

In the past 20 years, I've become fiercely anti-feminist, as well as anti-leftist. Feminism also arises from Marxism. I always get a stern lecturn about my McCarthyite tendencies when I say this, but a visit to any Women's Studies Program and perusal of their faculty bios proves it.

The shrink profession has become a virtual arm of the Marxist feminist movement. Villification of men is axiomatic. Would be interested in reading your thoughts about this.

At 8:51 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neo-neocon, a woman in Italy has been blogging about the democratic movement for quite a while. I am not sure what the exact name of the site is, but you can click on the Egyptian Sandmonkey blog on the Iraq the Model website. The woman on the ES's blogroll is named Stefenia.

At 9:20 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger davenoon said...

Feminism also arises from Marxism. I always get a stern lecturn about my McCarthyite tendencies when I say this...

No, you should actually be getting a stern lecture about your ahistorical tendencies when you say this. Only someone who thinks "perusing" web pages "proves" anything would be capable of such staggering acts of non-thought. Try perusing a book.

At 10:30 PM, June 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there's "feminism" the idea, and then there's "feminism" the official movement, or what it's morphed into in recent years. I think I was practically born a feminist of the first type. I remember being concerned with the issues even as a young kid, when no one was talking about them much, if at all--meaning, equal rights and respect for women in the general sense. As for the second type--the organizations, etc., I don't know or care whether they are Marxists or not, but their doctrinaire and strident unreasonableness has lost me. But don't confuse the entrenched feminists of the "movement" with feminism in general.

At 10:30 PM, June 07, 2005, Blogger Tran Sient said...

'still does some good work'

Which will now be completely discredited as a result of the gulag comments. Most people don't have the inclination to spend time picking out the good from the garbage. They have only themselves to blame.

At 12:14 AM, June 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A feminist has a problem with the idea that men and women cannot serve equally in the military.

A "feminist" has a problem with the military as an institution.

At 12:34 AM, June 08, 2005, Blogger Troy Stephens said...

I think I get where Stephen is coming from -- I can say from firsthand experience dating a womens' studies major that Marxism, and the lens of victimology that goes with it, seem to be the dominant mode of thought among academic, if not also professional-activist feminists these days. (It's a tragedy and betrayal of women that makes my heart sink.) But I hope he'll reconsider his stated position of being "anti-feminist". There are feminists of substantially different political persuasions out there (hard though it may be to believe sometimes! -- I know their voices aren't the ones we most often hear).

Joan Kennedy Taylor, for example, writes very thoughtfully from a classically-liberal/libertarian perspective. (My girlfriend the womens' studies major had never heard of her.) Taylor wrote Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Rediscovered, which I recently read and highly recommend as a refreshing and much-needed alternative view (and, for me, a very educational historic perspective) on the topic.

Tammy Bruce is another contemporary feminist who, to my mind, has been heroically corageous in challenging currently entrenched feminist thinking and advocating for a feminism that is inclusive of men and based on classically-liberal principles. Her first book, The New Thought Police, saved my life as far as I'm concerned. Her second, The Death of Right and Wrong, meanders a bit but also has moments of real insight. A favorite 'hit-the-nail-right-on-the-head' moment of mine is her observation therein that "feminism meant isolating and demonizing men, instead of bringing them with us as partners into our independence."

Both are feminists I can support without hesitation, and I suspect you might find their perspectives agreeable too. (?)

An aplology to our gracious host for the long, off-topic comment! neo-neocon, thank you for your courage in sharing your story with us and writing with such honest, candid insight and clear desire to understand. I'm so thankful to have found your blog, as I have been struggling through a very similar transformative experience, one that I hope to explore on the new blog of my own that you've helped inspire me to start. Courage and best wishes to you, faraway friend. And keep up the interesting work!

At 6:27 AM, June 08, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

I knew I should have kept that web site with all the pictures of Cuban health care centers.... the so-called excellant health care for Cubans is another travesty and vicious PR ploy by Castro. There is a model hospital where journalists and the like are given tours touting the wonderous nature of Cuban socialism, but it is the only hospital they are allowed to visit. The photos I alluded to were undercover photography that was graphic, taken at several different clinics. My god! I wouldn't let a dog go in those places. The obvious deprivation that exists down there should tell even the most obtuse observor that the whole place is literally rotting down. North Korea and Cuba, the last and best examples of what communism has to offer people. HA! Why is it that those who thump the drum in support of Castro and the rest of the world's dictators never actually live in those places?

At 6:57 AM, June 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feminism? Depends upon if one believes in Susan B. Anthony feminism or Margaret Sanger feminism. Me, I prefer the former as the latter espouses attaining utophia by terminating 'poor unwanteds' and ridding society of those 'black' folks via Sanger's Planned Parenthood racist eugenics program. The Sanger Sisterhood: legally aborting our wombs and castrating male's balls since 1973. (Don't forget the extermination of black Americans)

Susan B. Anthony was on to something great, that being...economic freedom brings about equality. Margaret Sanger, however, preferred we kill the poor to bring about quality, some choice...all for the sake of having unburdened orgasms?

The current American feminista movement has our heads held so tightly in our viginas we are losing womenhood.

At 8:27 AM, June 08, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

I had always thought, way back then, that instead of burning bras, the women's movement should have focused totally on economic equity. Get the cash and the rest will follow. I don't patronize women but it always bugged me when for doing equal work a woman got paid less than a man.

At 9:04 AM, June 08, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not want to hijack the comments with my issues, so I've responded in general to this thread on my weblog:


Women do not earn less for the same work. This is one of the most inane feminist myths. It's a lie. Read Why Men Earn More by Warren Farrell.

At 9:07 AM, June 08, 2005, Blogger chuck said...

I had always thought, way back then, that instead of burning bras, the women's movement should have focused totally on economic equity.

The question I used to raise was children. Men and women play different roles in raising children, particularly in the early years. And, let's face it, no children, no future. It would be an interesting exercise to correlate birth rates with political leanings, paying special attention to Eastern/Western Europe and the former Soviet Union. But in any case, this bit of natural history will play itself out without any help from the philosophers.

At 3:23 PM, June 08, 2005, Blogger Joaquin said...

Ho Chi Min: When you have a chance, please explain to me why the Florida Straits is the burial ground for hundreds if not thousand of Cuban trying to leave your beloved paradise of Cuba.
I'm all ears.

At 9:58 AM, June 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AI lost all credibility because of their outrageous assertion regarding Gitmo. They are no longer able to even appear objective.

Ho Chi Minh, on what do you base your claims for a Cuban paradise? Cuba should be listed as a leading offender in an AI report. Search www.frontpagemag.com for articles on Cuba to get an accurate picture of conditions there.

At 10:11 AM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Joaquin said...

Ho Chi Minh
My friend, living in Germany is certainly affecting your view of the world.
To compare Cuba to Haiti is myopic and you further compound your lack of vision by using your comparison to uphold Marxism. Haiti is bad so Cuba is good? Therefore Marxism works! Brilliant!
You state that "Cuba works" Does North Korea also work? In your mind, probably
You end your post by making the idiotic suggestion that the people of Cuba could change their situation if they only wanted. How do they make this change, with broomsticks? The Cuban revolution in 1959, like ALL REVOLUTIONS, was caused by ARMED revolutionaries. You have a better chance of seeing a Cuban citizen driving a Rolls Royce, listening to his IPod while eating a Double-beef Whopper than to find one that owns a gun.

At 2:16 AM, June 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was being ironic. My point was to agree with you in a backhanded way. Go back and look at my comment. Stick it to them, comrade.


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