Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cuba: Has Castro Educated His People??

Education and The Cuban Revolution, educational paradise? Fraud?

First of all, well before Castro, Cuba had one of the most educated populations in Latin America at all levels, with literacy numbers at 1st world levels.

So Castro was hardly starting w/a population of illiterates. And thanks to his exiling a sizeable percentage of the population he has had a smaller number of kids to educate, (think in terms of freeing up resources - #'s of classrooms, teachers, budget per pupil)

That being said, what credit he is due, is in improving the education of the small percentage of the rural and urban poor who traditionally had little access to education.
And in a larger sense, increasing the quality and intensity of the education available to most Cubans. Ideology aside, there is something worth studying about how Cuba has managed to produce the numbers of university grads in technical fields it has produced. Students whose preparation in key subjects like math, started well in elementary schools. Their soviet-style sports and arts programs are first rate: Miami's Junior College chess team is tops in the US thanks to its Cubans. Listen to how well spoken "El Duque" Hernandez or other Cuban pro's are compared to other latin ballplayers.
And in general, their primary and secondary schools seem to do a pretty good job. I talk a lot to everyday Cubans educated on the island, some very recent arrivals. From kids to professors, they all come out with a high level of education, extremely well spoken, impecable Spanish grammar.

Then again all these achievements are wasted, due to the inherently irrational and perverse nature of Socialism/Collectivism. Castro educates his population, produces a huge number of professionals in valuable professions. But then your system underpays this valuable human capital. To the point where women doctors would rather prostitute themselves, engineers drive cabs, and technicians take a flimsy raft to Florida. All this human capital, leaves or produces little on the island. Joins the millions of Cubans - valuable human capital - who have added Billions to the US economy.

That is called stupid.

Nicaragua: Ortega Trashes Opposition Parties

Ortega has succesfully managed to ban the Renovacion Sandinista party and the traditional Conservative Party. This is such a blatantly politicized move that even hard left apologists like Noam Chomsky and Eduardo Galeano have signed a petition asking for a political solution.

Ortega is acting like the other Chavista morons (i.e. Evo), bending procedural rules to the max in order to centralize power in himself, and trashing independent institutions and procedures. As Marcela Sanchez quoting Mundo Jarquin: , "Ortega is manipulating electoral and judicial powers to establish "an institutional dictatorship,"

The radical left does not believe in concepts like separation of powers, checks and balances and decentralized decision-making, in other words things that make for sucessfull representative democracy.

On a separate note. How come a lot of press do not refer to Ortega as a former dictator? Dude was a Communist thug, who ran a pro-Soviet regime during the Cold War. No one elected him as part of that "junta", and he "won" an election, while his Marxist-Leninist party exercised dictatorial control over all branches of government, media, the economy, the army, police, all the way down to neighborhood thugs and snitches who controlled the issuance of basic food rations.

Standard issue corruption is actually an improvement.

Tip Of The Hat to

Sunday, June 22, 2008

USA Network

Quality TV is not an oxymoron.

Got done watching back to back episodes of Law and Order Criminal Intent, and In Plain Sight. Talk about two hours of solid drama. Am already addicted to Burn Notice and throw in Monk, and USA Network have got some winners.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Boli For Barack

First time i saw the guy was at a small event in Chicago when he was running against Bobby Rush. Since then followed him in IL State Senate and his election campaign for Senate in 04.

Veteran of Chicago Dem politics, staying on message while being tough. That is grad school in hardball politics for anyone.

Illinois State Senate has Chicago hardball players, Suburban Reps, Farmbelt & rural reps, Small City machine politicians, just a mishmash of different interests of a big state. Obama did a good job of getting it done for his district, and a reputation for being practical reaching across the aisle to people not only from other parties, but crossing the Chicago/Downstate divide. And he was known as a serious student of policy.

In his run for Senate, he won a very tough Democratic primary, getting votes from Downstate Illinois small town and rural voters - in areas that are close to the Mason Dixie line. He did very well in the central farm area that is midwestern as can be. He also did really well in the Conservative Western suburbs.

Basically, he is a really charismatic guy, who has a good feel on the American public, in seeing the similarities that cut across race, regional, and class - despite the problems in his campaign recently.

He is smart as hell, and can look at issues from different perspectives. But he is absolutely not a wimp, won't give up anything without getting some payback. that is Chicago-style.

He is not a knee-jerk liberal. You don't survive in Chicago and Illinois without dealing w Fortune 500 CEO's and small business alike.

He is as well prepared to actually lead and motivate Americans as anyone I have seen. And he surrounds (and will surround)himself w/both fresh faces and those w/experience. And that is the main point, he can put in place the people who can effect "change". At the very least change from the legions of Republican hacks that enabled Bush as he invaded the wrong country and did nothing while the gulf coast and New Orleans swamped. McCain is going to end up relying on these characters. No thanks

Tip Of The Hat to