Beyonce and Jay-Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana last week as official guests of a regime busily beating and arresting black civil rights activists known as the “Rosa Parks Civil Rights Movement.”

Indeed the Stalinist/Apartheid regime hosting the superstar couple murdered more political prisoners per capita in its first three years in power than Hitler’s murdered in its first six and jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin’s during the Great Terror. Among these victims were (are) the longest-suffering black political prisoners in modern history of the human race.

In fact, the superstar black couple’s visit coincided with a wave of racist repression by Cuba’s lily-white rulers. Cuba’s black human-rights activists are being beaten, arrested and tortured at a rate that sets a ten-year record for racist torture and terror in the Castro family fiefdom, which is really saying something.

Heartbreakingly, as mentioned above, many of these Cuban human-rights activists admire the U.S. civil rights movement, unaware that the current standard-bearers of this movement—far from championing their cause—actually champion their torturers:

“Viva FIDEL!—VIVA CHE!” yelled Jesse Jackson while arm-in-arm with Fidel Castro at the University of Havana in 1984.

“He [Raul Castro] is one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met!” gushed chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Emanuel Cleaver upon visiting the Castro family fiefdom three years ago. And on and on.

As Beyonce and Jay-Z lived it up around Havana, every penny they spent lands in the pocket of the regime currently beating and arresting Cuban blacks peacefully protesting under the banner of the civil rights leaders the U.S. superstars claim to venerate. Cuban dissident Sonia Garro has spent the past two Easters in Castro’s dungeons without even being charged. She was beaten, arrested– and beaten again– for the crime of carrying flowers in a peaceful religious demonstration honoring other peaceful Cuban blacks murdered by Castroite firing squads.

Not far from the Havana vacation haunts of Beyonce and her (Che-Guevara worshipping) husband Jay-Z, black political prisoners languish in KGB-designed dungeons for such crimes as publicly quoting the works of Martin Luther King Jr. and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. Among these prisoners is Dr. Elias Biscet, an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience who was awarded (obviously in absentia) the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush in 2008.


There are two basic human responses to an assault. I will protect myself or I will make the world a better place. The first deals with the risk of an attack. The second with your feelings about the world. The first leaves you better able to cope with an attack. The second makes you feel better about the world that you live in.

The Jewish response to the Holocaust fell into these two categories. Never Again and Teach Tolerance. And the two responses were segmented by population.

Never Again became the credo of Israel and Teach Tolerance became the credo of the Western Diaspora.

There were many Israelis who believed in teaching tolerance and many Western Jews who believed in self-defense, but for the most part the responses were structural because the divide between Nationalists and Universalists predated the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was a transformative event, but only to a degree, the responses to it came out of earlier debates that had been going on for several generations. Before the Holocaust, the pogroms had led to the same fork in the road between a collective struggle for a better world and national self-defense. The current debates about Israel revisit that old argument.

To the Nationalists, the Holocaust was not an unexpected event. Nationalist leaders like Jabotinsky had warned that it was coming. To the Universalists however, it was an inexplicable event because it challenged the entire progressive understanding of history as a march to enlightenment. Violent bigotry was a symptom of reactionary backward thinking, not something that modern countries would engage in. There might be anti-semitism in Berlin, but there wouldn’t be mass murder. That was for places like Czarist Russia, but not for the enlightened Soviet Russia or Weimar Germany.

The Holocaust dissolved that mirage of a better world. It was a mugging in broad daylight on the biggest street of the biggest city in the world. Its message was that the world had not changed and that human beings had not magically become better people because Berlin had a subway and phone calls could be made across the Atlantic.

The Holocaust did not heal the divide between the Universalists and the Nationalists; it deepened it. The Universalists still insisted that a better world was coming and that the Holocaust made it more urgent for us to work toward it, while the Nationalists saw the world as a cycle of civilizations that had to be survived, with no respite, except for the religious who awaited a final transformation of the world and everything in it.

Israel was the issue, but the real issue was what a Jewish State symbolized; a turning away from the great dream of the Brotherhood of Man for another reactionary ethno-religious state. To many liberals, Israel’s existence is coded with the dangerous message that Jews are no longer committed to the great humanitarian revolution and the dream of a better world. That they would rather cling to a narrow identity and a narrow territory than melt into a borderless brotherhood of man.

DANIEL GREENFIELD: AMERICA’S FOES CALL OBAMA’S BLUFF Obama, Kerry and Hagel thought that they had a plan for putting North Korea back in the box. North Korea had conducted a nuclear test in February, violating once again the various understandings that had been worked out. But agreements and understandings, written or oral, had never meant much to the repressive regime which […]

SANDRA FLUKE, THE PRIEST, AND THE PROTESTANTS: KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ Do you hear all the talk about the “inevitability” of same-sex marriage? Are you watching the second round of “war on women” ads aimed at opponents of the HHS mandate? President Obama insists that even employers who are opposed to abortion and contraception must provide insurance offering these options to their workers — and […]

KATRINA TRINKO: IS TOM PEREZ ANOTHER CHUCK HAGEL? Tom Perez could be the next Chuck Hagel. So far, Perez, whom President Obama nominated for labor secretary last month, has generated little attention. His selection was announced as the Senate was in a heated fight over sequestration, and then a two-week recess immediately followed. Now, with the Senate back in session on Monday […]



“No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.” So declared the 18th-century English writer Samuel Johnson, known for his aphoristic wit.

It may be too stark. If it’s true, there are legions of blockheads out there — people who publish works in literary journals that pay in contributor’s copies; people who publish on websites that have considerable readerships but do not pay their writers for their efforts (there are not a few of those).
I would modify it to: No man but a blockhead ever wrote short stories so that he could send each one to ten or twenty literary journals until one accepts and publishes it, and then have no sense at all that anybody is actually out there reading it.

At least, that was the dictum I arrived at after years of doing just that. As I’ve described, about a decade ago I decided I’d had enough and stopped writing fiction.

That is, “I’ve” stopped; but that doesn’t mean my subconscious has. It still comes up with stories and presents them to me, requesting that they be written.

In most cases these notions quickly fade and are almost totally forgotten. Some, though, persist — in some cases even for years. It’s a standoff: the idea remains somewhere in my head, and I know it’s there but keep declining to execute it, to translate it into typed words on the screen and see what grows from that.

I can think of three of these ideas that particularly won’t go away, like a stray dog who parks himself on your doorstep and mournfully refuses to budge. I thought it would be worth giving a peek at these. They’re probably representative of a larger phenomenon—people who have given up certain kinds of writing but whose “minds” haven’t.

Let’s Try Walking in the Palestinians’ Shoes By Karin McQuillan *****

President Obama told Israelis to “[p]ut yourself in [the Palestinians’] shoes — look at the world through their eyes.”

Jews invented empathy, 3,000 years before Freud. Every Passover, Jews are commanded to experience the Exodus as if we lived it ourselves, to never forget what it feels like to be oppressed. Israelis bend over backwards empathizing with Palestinians. Could President Obama please ask the Palestinians to walk a mile in Israeli shoes?

But let’s listen to the president anyway; let’s use our well-practiced powers of empathy to imagine walking in the Palestinians’ shoes. Listen to what they say, and notice how they behave. We have a lot of direct communication about what Palestinians are feeling inside. We can read Palestinian news, watch their TV programs, find out what they teach their children in school.

MEMRI is the go-to site for translations of Arab media. Here’s the latest commentary from a Palestinian journalist in their daily paper:

… because of their deceptiveness, cunning, and killing of prophets, the Jews have been a hated nation from time immemorial. … [T]he Jews were the cause behind fitna (internal strife) among Muslims, and that throughout history, they had plotted to destroy every country they had inhabited — even those which had welcomed them — and that this explained their expulsion from many of these countries.

A little too much Jihadi-Nazism to really want to walk in those shoes.

NONIE DARWISH: MARRIAGE ISLAM STYLE Before America embarks on changing the concept of marriage, I hope they will at least agree on examining cultures that do not define marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman. In their eagerness to achieve their goals, the pro gay marriage enthusiasts are marching towards what they perceive as progress and […]

ED MARSH: OBAMACARE AND THE END OF THE PATIENT/PHYSICIAN RELATIONSHIP Reflections of a Medical Ex-Practitioner The glow of the personal relationship with patients is being extinguished. A fundamental principle in medicine is that if you get the diagnosis wrong, you’ll probably apply the wrong therapy. A corollary is that if the therapy isn’t working, increasing the dose may make things worse. That’s where we […]

MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY: THE DEATH OF A CUBAN DISSIDENT How Did Oswald Payá Really Die? New evidence about the car crash that killed a noted Cuban dissident points to a coverup. When someone is killed in a civilized country and police slap around a witness and suppress evidence it is known as a cover-up. In Cuba it’s called “reform.” Viva Orwell.Cuba’s “ministry of […]