Cuba and Geritol Communism

Paul A. IbbetsonCuba, America’s little communist island neighbor to the south is doing a little bit of government restructuring. Fidel Castro has just finished the last stage of what has been an incremental step-down from power. In 2006, Fidel Castro handed over temporary power to his brother Raúl while the Communist dictator underwent a series of intestinal surgeries. In 2008, Raúl Castro was appointed as president of Cuba but the process was only recently finalized when Cuban President Raúl Castro selected José Ramón Machado as the second in command.

It’s difficult to be a hard-line communist country these days and with China turning its economic system decidedly capitalistic; Cuba remains one of the last closest holdouts to the old Soviet Union days when communism had that true Stalinist red flare. But like all the other countries that have attempted the Marxist quest for utopia, communism is also dying out in Cuba, and dying fast. The first signs of change come straight from President Raúl Castro. As reported by Randal Archibold in the New York Times, President Castro is publicly recognizing that the Cuban economy has major problems, and he is creating a positive environment for small business expansion. Furthermore, the door has been opened for citizens to buy and sell homes. This is a big deal for communist Cuba.

Outwardly, Cuba still raises the communist banner firmly affixed to the island country following the Fidel Castro revolution that began back in 1959. Machado’s appointment temporarily fortified the old communist guard. But even though Machado is an old revolutionary communist hardliner, his appointment also reflects the fragile state of communism in Cuba. The fact of the matter is that communism in Cuba is an old man’s game. The hard-line revolutionaries are simply aging away. Fidel Castro, 84, is not long for this world and his younger brother Raúl, 79, is no spring chicken. Despite talks of bringing in new blood to the higher echelons of Cuban government, Machado, 80, is Cuba’s current backup plan should President Raúl Castro have to step down. Why not bring in some young successors? The Machado appointment is one of necessity for Castro as years of dictatorial power hoarding have created a Cuba that lacks younger hard-line communist blood. The situation now is that the communist country of Cuba is running on the fleeting fear of Fidel and copious amounts of Geritol.

The reality of Cuba’s future is hinged on the younger generations that have not been allowed into the higher levels of the Castro administration. Those that have had the opportunity to see the disintegration of the Soviet Union under communism, and may be able place it into a proper context. The next generation of Cuban leadership, which will soon see the opportunity to run the island nation, may very well seize upon the baby steps toward capitalism that President Castro will have taken to economically stabilize the country. Even with the old communist line still being forwarded, there is an air of inevitability when we look at Cuba’s future.

In the end, while Fidel Castro may have survived the Bay of Pigs, economic embargos, his own Frankenstein’s monster in the sociopathic murderer Che Guevara and the fall of Cuba’s highly revered ally in the Soviet Union, the communist system in Cuba is destined to fail. The thriving black market system in Cuba has been a glaring example of the people’s desire to buy products on their own terms. Inevitably, people not only get tired of ration cards and being told on which days they are allowed to buy products, they also simply desire the opportunity to be allowed to make their own way in life. Communism has truly failed the people of Cuba, and America’s light is too close and shines too brightly upon the island country for the reality of economic and personal freedom to be hidden forever. In many ways President Raúl Castro probably sees this and may crack the door open at bit more to capitalistic ventures to ease the longstanding economic pain in his country. As the Grim Reaper claims the last of the jungle revolutionaries of the Cuban Communist Party, Fidel Castro’s Marxian experiment will eventually be laid on the trash heap of history and Cuba will be reborn.

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Liberals Struggle With Tea Party Reality

So where does the Tea Party stand today? Paul A. IbbetsonIf you ask that question in different locations you are going to get many different answers. If you listen to lefties such as columnist Ted Reinstein, you will hear that the Tea Party is a dying dinosaur suffering from what he describes as the terminal illness of being uncompromising. Reinstein blames the recent slow budget compromise on unbending Tea Party-supported Republicans who he asserts would destroy the country to get their way. Of course he also portrayed the GOP’s original $100 billion budget cut proposal as “devastating.” Who is living in reality here? Reinstein repeats the same mantra often chanted by liberals that the political right can only be “right” when they act like the left. The Tea Party and their candidate’s refusal to break from conservative values in exchange for liberals’ acceptance continue to be a painful and puzzling enigma to the left. This has brought about many false descriptions.

Back in 2009 liberals like Nancy Pelosi erroneously described the Tea Party as “AstroTurf” and said that attendees were funded by the “high end” with the organization being heavily influenced by the Republican Party. Since that time, Tea Party voters have often voted against liberal Republicans with decent results. Time has made it easy to see that Pelosi was wrong in her “AstroTurf” assessment of the Tea Party but was she wrong because she was attempting to deceive the public or because liberals can’t seem to truly fathom everyday people that champion controlled spending, an adherence to the Constitution and traditional American values? To be fair to Pelosi, Reinstein and other liberals, it’s a hefty amount of both.

Nancy Pelosi has been going through her own harsh struggle with reality recently; remember, she use to be Speaker of the House until the “AstroTurf” rose up and voted Republicans into power and herself off the top spot in the House of Representatives. It’s not just liberals in the Democrat Party that are having a hard time understanding the reality of the Tea Party; it’s also the liberals in the Republican Party. As Tea Party groups form and swell their numbers in anticipation of the 2012 elections, there are some long-standing RINOs (Republicans in name only) that are about to get a wake-up call. Republicans such as Richard Lugar of Indiana are going to be challenged by the Tea Party voting bloc. As documented by national affairs writer Tom Curry, the conservative-minded Tea Party is in opposition of Lugar who co-sponsored the DREAM Act, supported the reduction of America’s nuclear defense in the START treaty and was one of a handful of Republicans that supported Obama’s liberal judges Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Lugar will be one of several liberal Republicans that Tea Party voters will attempt to “send out to pasture.”

As of this moment liberals by and large are still in Tea Party denial. They hate these Americans for being conservative, but the hard realization that likeminded conservatives greatly outnumber them and are coming to the polls to defeat their liberal ideology and send their banner carriers home has not fully come to reality. But it will. The realization of a major conservative push toward 2012 will be seen first at the local level. In Kansas, the recent Tea Party rally in Manhattan saw gay rights activists protest the event in the aftermath of a major city election in which conservatives won a majority. This local conservative victory, brought to fruition in part by Tea Party voters, now threatens the continuance of the recent, most far-reaching homosexual ordinance in the state’s history. These local political victories by conservatives across the nation are a validation of conservative voting blocs such as the Tea Party, and a precursor of major victories to come. The pendulum is swinging to the right but with more than the force of gravity. Conservatives are fed up and they are organizing locally and nationally to take back the country. Liberals will soon be unable to escape this reality.

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Intervention Failure in Washington: Budgets, Addicts and Enablers

I feel two percent happier today, as that is the amount of the 2011 Paul A. Ibbetsonfederal budget that has been trimmed by the recent political negotiations that averted a government shutdown. Here are the numbers: the CBO estimates that our spending for 2011 will be $3.7 trillion. Congressional leaders have just taken the nation through a gut-wrenching, televised mini-drama over the last few weeks and after all the wrangling and tough talk, $38.5 billion in spending cuts, a meager two percent reduction of the projected budget, were agreed upon. Really? That’s the best they could do? Let’s get real about our country’s spending situation.

Washington has an addiction to spending today that is not unlike an alcohol or crack addiction. The failure to reduce spending by any noticeable amount simply places a magnifying glass on a problem that Americans have been opposing for some time. The most unfortunate part of this destructive government spiral is that you and I, the American people, are having the flip the bill for the spending “monkey” that resides on the backs of our politicians in Washington. Both parties are to blame here but the parts they played in this recent budget cutting debacle are different. Let’s call them out.

The Barack Obama-backed Democratic Party is on a terminal spending bender. There is no desire to cut spending; there is no acknowledgment that the country is drowning in debt, nothing. Like the addict, liberals are in full denial of their addiction and unless stopped, they are going to ride the “American Money Train” until the wheels fall off. And yes, the wheels will eventually fall off. The Republican Party is in a different position. Their recent ascent back to political relevancy following the 2010 midterm was on a pledge to the American people to reduce government spending.

The recent budget deadline was the golden opportunity for Republicans to take a stand for the American people and truly reduce government spending. If it were to be done, it would have to be accomplished against the vehement opposition of the Democratic Party. This was truly an intervention moment. Republicans had the opportunity to corner Democrats and pull the government spending “bottle” from their lips. It wasn’t going to be pretty; interventions never are. Like the addict, Democrats in Washington don’t want to give up their addiction and it was not a surprise to see them lashing out verbally at the sight of a potential intervention. Terrible statements such as Democrat Harry Reid’s rant that “Republicans want to shut down the government because they think there’s nothing more important than keeping women from getting cancer screenings,” or the words of Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton who said that a government shutdown was the “functional equivalent of bombing innocent civilians,” or Democrat Louise Slaughter who said that the GOP was here to “kill women,” and that Republicans were like “Nazis,” were common rebukes from the money-addicted left. These statements were vile and untrue but they were to be expected. You might say it was the “drugs” (money) talking. The idea of cutting spending to any degree literally gives liberals the shakes but that is standard fare for interventions.

No one wanted to see a government shutdown but it was exactly what should have happened when Democrats refused to make meaningful cuts to the budget. The GOP would have been respected by the American people for taking a hard stand for the country’s future. Again, reducing government spending is one of the fundamental reasons voters placed Republicans into control of the House of Representatives. Now the GOP looks more like an enabler that buckled under the pressure and handed the bottle back to the addict. We are told that this miniscule budget reduction will be followed by more substantial cuts in the near future. It’s hard to feel optimistic about these promises when a golden opportunity for Republicans to take a promised stand for the American people netted only a two percent reduction of an out-of-control budget. Republicans are going to have to step up their game. They made a promise to the American people, and voters are watching closely and taking names for the elections in 2012. It’s time for Washington to “dry out” and start spending responsibly.

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Doug Giles: Raising Righteous & Rowdy Girls

There is something endearing about conservatives that don’t mince words, Paul A. Ibbetsonwho aren’t afraid to take the battle to today’s liberals with almost reckless abandon. When you mention these sterling knights of no-nonsense, you have to include Doug Giles. Giles, a Town Hall columnist and host of Clash Radio is not bashful about taking his beliefs on the road to Americans across the country. In 2009, heartland radio listeners got an opportunity to hear Giles’ unabashed pro-Americanism on my radio program, Conscience of Kansas. The Miami pastor filled the radio studio with a spirit of bold American grit.

Today Giles is addressing an important issue in the country, the value of raising your kids in a way that prepares them for the jackals of this world. In his new book, “Raising Righteous & Rowdy Girls,” the author not only introduces his daughters to anyone that might not know them already, he also talks about how to raise girls that walk with confidence and think for themselves.

If you are not aware of Giles’ offspring, he has two intelligent, bold daughters, Hannah and Regis Giles. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree in this case. Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe went undercover, exposed ACORN and took them down. Posing as a pimp and a prostitute, O’Keefe and Giles videotaped employees at the government-funded community group ACORN advising the two how to lie on tax returns, about occupation and income. They also assisted the undercover duo’s attempt to set up a clandestine house of prostitution. Giles not only participated in the sting of the year in 2009, she also weathered a blitzkrieg of retribution from the exposed ACORN organization. What a strong young woman.

Regis Giles is impacting the world by defending one of the most important rights in America, the right to bear arms. To do this she is working through one of the country’s best outlets to take the fight to those gun-grabbing liberals, the National Rifle Association. What a strong young woman. So, how do parents raise girls that can take on the world and come out as victors?

Daddy Doug Giles has created a book with sound traditional values for raising daughters that is wrapped in his own unconventional and aggressively honest delivery. This is book that places a long-needed emphasis on fathers to man up on their parental responsibilities. The Giles philosophy will not be popular with the feminists, but then again, that’s usually a sign you’re on the right track. Giles also gets very real on the issue of teenage sex and the lifelong ramifications of being morally loose in the pursuit of love, respect and inclusion among bottom feeders that are experiencing the apex of their lives as teenagers. Yes, these are the losers.

The author ends the book with an application for permission to date his daughters. It’s as knee slapping funny as it is thought provoking. Doug Giles’s book, Raising Righteous & Rowdy Girls, is a creative fusion of humor, truth, passion and repetitious violations of political correctness. Yes, there is something endearing about conservatives that don’t mince words, who aren’t afraid to take the battle to today’s liberals with almost reckless abandon. Raising Righteous & Rowdy Girls is a book worthy of any patriot parent’s library.

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