Saturday, August 11

"Sicko" documentary is banned in Cuba

Cross posted at
This latest news from inside Cuba is that Michael Moore's "ill intentioned documentary" Sicko amounts to nothing more than communist propaganda, and has been banned from viewing.  Clearly, Moore's place in history has been cemented as that of a willing puppet of the Cuban dictatorship.

The article reprinted below was written originally in English, with thanks to Dr. Roberto A. Galloso for the English translation. I read the Spanish version, and the translation is accurate.

I want to call your attention to the extensive list of Cuban government officials and even medical staff who regularly go to France, England and Spain for medical treatment -- not exactly a vote of confidence in the Cuban healthcare system. I agree that there is much that could be done to improve our healthcare system--starting with tort reform! But, read this article and ask yourself, "Am I sure I want a socialized, government-controlled healthcare?" My answer is a very loud NO! (Bold in article is mine)

For those that don't follow the news inside the prison island,
Dr. Darsi Ferrer was imprisoned in 2006 for his opposition to the Castro regime. I assume he has since been released. I'll find out and update this post.
Comisión de Derechos Humanos
Junta Patriótica Cubana
Mayda Cardín
Traducción: Dr. Roberto A. Galloso
Comisión de Relaciones Públicas.
(305) 448-9898

By Dr. Darsi Ferrer, Director of Health & Human Rights Center  "Juan Bruno Zayas"

Havana, August 6, 2007 --  There is no doubt that the Cuban authorities will not allow the Cuban people the possibility of watching this documentary by Michael Moore, a  leading movie producer and ideological ally of the Cuban regime.

Although it might look contradictory, the propaganda used in the film to discredit the USA health system while trying to highlight the excellence of the Cuban health system, turned out to be considered "subversive" by the Cuban regime. It so happens that he based his arguments on gross lies that do not represent at all the Cuban health drama.

 It is well known over the world that Fidel Castro went to look for a Spanish doctor when he had a health crisis. A few years ago the Under Secretary of Health, Abelardo Ramirez, went to France for medical treatment where he underwent surgery for a gastric cancer that eventually took his life. In the same manner, the neurosurgeon Domingo, a doctor who is part of Fidel Castro's personal medical team and Chief of the CIMEQ Hospital, went to England to avail himself of Ophthalmologic services for surgical treatment for his eye  problems, periodically returning there for checkups.

 How come that those who are part of the top echelon of the government, having access to all the privileges and resources the country offers to them, when their own health problems are at stake they showlittle or no confidence in the "competent revolutionary medicine".

 The Cuban health system can be described with one word: Chaos. The majority of the installations are in ruins, with continued great physical deterioration coupled with disastrous operating conditions. In contrast, the exclusive medical institutions, reserved for foreigners with hard currency, members of the "ruling elite" and the high ranking military personnel offer excellent medical services. These institutions are: International Clinic "Cira Garcia", International Clinic of Retinosis Pigmentosa, International Center for Neurological Restoration (CIREN), Center for Medical Chirurgical Investigations (CIMEQ), Koly Clinic and the best (exclusive) floors of the "Almeijeiras" and "Frank Pais" hospitals, among others. In these centers, to which the access is denied to the Cuban people except the above mentioned, the medical staff is highly qualified with a superb professional status, conditions are optimum, the hygiene is adequate, there is cable television, piped music and they are well equipped and have all the necessary resources.

 There is within the health system what the regime falsely calls "international missions" which is the only possibility for the health staff to obtain a few dollars to satisfy some of the pressing daily life necessities required to survive in the country But, there is always a catch under the Cuban regime, the "internationalists", as they are called, are exploited as cheap labor and are forced to participate in the psychological manipulation of the people of the countries they are sent to because "their real mission" is to propagate the Marxist-Leninist totalitarian model.

 Those who have read our previous article on this subject are familiar with the details of disastrous Cuban health system. However, we should add that the main problem facing that system is the lack of motivation among the health professional because they unable to satisfy the minimum life necessities with the meager salaries they receive. This situation generates a high level of iatrogenic ailments (ailment generated or induced by the physician's manner of handling or discussing a case), deficiencies and negligence in the daily provision of medical services.

 Another important factor contributing to damper the motivation of the health professional is the number of limitations imposed on them for their professional development. They are denied access to the internet and free participation in international courses and events. Up to date medical literature and opportunities to keep up to date with the scientific advances worldwide are not there at all. As a matter of fact, thousands of physicians and other health professionals who have the aspiration of professional development and growth have been waiting for years to be "liberated" lo leave the country. Many of them are held in akin to hostage conditions and many of them, with their relatives out of the country, suffer the trauma of being separated from them.

 In conclusion, it does not surprise anybody in Cuba, that Michael Moore would choose the "Almeijeiras" Hospital to demonstrate the excellence of the Cuban Health System. The explanation is simple: none of the ruinous hospitals available to the Cuban people could have been used to film his ill intentioned documentary. And, of course, the tyranny can not afford to have the people see this documentary showing what everybody knows is not the reality of the Cuban health system, one of several show places where the average Cuban
citizen is denied access.

For this reason the documentary is banned in Cuba.

HT: Stefania at Free Thoughts

Thursday, August 9

GOP doing a better job of reaching out to Hispanics

This is great news published today by the Associated Press. But it also shows that there is still a lot of work to be done by conservatives in spreading the conservative message.

Democrats hold an edge with Hispanics in national elections, but Latinos' growing tendency to register as independents and split their vote between parties is buoying Republican prospects for 2008.

Younger and college-educated Hispanics in particular offer fertile ground for the GOP, new data show. And while no one suggests Republicans have become the party of choice for the nation's fastest-growing minority, Democrats have been gradually losing ground.

I can still remember the nice older lady in my church in Miami who kept going around telling everyone that Bush was going to take away retiree's benefits, and that they all needed to vote for Gore. Somebody had to give her a little reality check and a scolding for believing everything she heard on TV!

        Economic and generational forces are influencing Hispanic politics.

I wonder if this has to do with Latin America's political heritage. Frankly, many recent Hispanic immigrant may not really know what a good effective capitalist government works like, and so I could see how they would be drawn to socialist and liberal arguments (just speculation by my part). As the following generations assimilate, and experience our democratic process, it would make sense they would start seeing the truth about big government and false liberal promises.

Democratic pollster Andre Pineda, who is advising New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's presidential campaign, conducted research after the November 2006 elections that identified a generational shift in Hispanic voter patterns.

Pineda said Hispanic immigrants who become citizens and register to vote become Democrats in nearly 70 percent of the cases, with Republican registration at 18 percent. In the next generation, Democratic registration drops to 56 percent and GOP registration increases to 25 percent. By the third U.S.-born generation, Democratic and Republican registration among Hispanics is nearly equal.

You have to consider how amazing these results are when you consider the concerted efforts of the extreme liberal left in academia. Despite the 4 years of indoctrination-U, with each passing generation, Hispanics are shifting more and more to the conservative camp.

This is a good moment to remember Reagan and his thoughts on Latino's and the GOP:

In 1980, as he was preparing to run for president, Ronald Reagan asked Lionel Sosa, an advertising executive from San Antonio, to lead his outreach to the Hispanic community. Reagan told Sosa his job would be easy: "Latinos are Republican. They just don't know it yet."


Hispanics: The future of the Republican Party
In My Inbox: What America's STILL Saying About The Stolen Immigration Vote
Hispanic Republicans Celebrate 33rd Anniversary
Value Voters: "...Dance with the one that brung you"

Monday, August 6

Shunning Tancredo: Hewitt Analyzes Tancredo Campaign

Hugh Hewitt offers an interesting perspective on the Tancredo campaign.
A lot of Iowa voters are expected to cast ballots for Tom Tancredo at the Ames straw poll this week. Until recently a vote for Tancredo would have been understood as a vote against indifference to illegal immigration and for the idea of deportation. But the general and instant rejection of the proposed immigration "reform" bill undercut Tancredo's candidacy as all of the leading GOPers came out against the bill and managed to do so without sounding nativist in the least degree. Suddenly you could be for strong borders and coherent regularization without being for Tancredo, and his "protest" candidacy sputtered, and then began to bomb, burdened as well by Tancredo's own debate performances. Ron Paul became the marginal candidate with the biggest band.
Read Hugh's full post here. Hugh is not holding back, and based on his recent comments, I tend to agree with him -- not because of Tancredo's views on immigration, but because of his careless comments in regards to the fight against terrorism.

A vote for Tancredo --even a straw vote at Ames-- is a vote for religious war and increasing the risks to our troops and the pressures on our allies.

RealClearPolitics: The Democrats Dither on Trade

The backtracking on free trade in South America has been among the frustrating news for me coming out of the beltway. Considering how the economic downturns in Latin America affect us through the increase in illegal immigration, I would think more Americans would be fighting for this one as loudly as they fought for the failed Immigration legislation.

Democratic presidential candidates like to talk about "turning a page" in America's relations with the rest of the world. But what does that mean, in practical terms, on bread-and-butter issues such as trade? Are today's Democrats a party of open markets and economic development, or of market restrictions and job protection?

The answer is that leading Democrats seem to want both -- they favor economic development overseas but not at the cost of U.S. jobs. That sounds like a coherent position until you begin to look carefully at the political choices in Latin America, a part of the world where U.S. trade policies are tightly interwoven with national security interests. Tougher trade policies could embolden the anti-Americanism embodied by Venezuela's rabble-rousing president, Hugo Chávez. 

The problem is that most Democrats (and many Republicans) lack the basic clear understanding of economic principles. Trade is not a zero-sum game. Economic development overseas does not translate in less jobs in the US. And, David certainly has a point that taking steps back in our Trade agreements would only embolden Chavez and the rest of the socialist crazies.

So what are the Democrats doing about trade? Well, they dither. Democratic leaders in Congress say they may bring trade agreements with Panama and Peru up for a vote this fall, after gaining concessions on workers' rights and the environment. As for the Colombia agreement, it appears dead for this year. The Democratic presidential candidates, meanwhile, are scurrying to follow the party's base, rather than trying to lead it, on trade. The Democrats want to turn a page, but in the case of Latin America, they may be turning it backward.


In My Inbox: What America's STILL Saying About The Stolen Immigration Vote

I  got this in my email today. It speaks for itself.
What America’s Still Saying About The Stolen Immigration Vote


“… Democrats ruled that a GOP motion had failed even though, when the gavel fell, the electronic score board showed it winning 215-213 along with the word FINAL.”

“Democrats undid a vote they had lost over the issue of subsidies to illegal immigrants … you don't change or ‘fix’ the score after the game has been played.”

“Even [Democrat Rep. Rick] Larsen, who voted with his party, wasn't certain how the roll call moved that night. ‘I looked up and the board had changed,’ he said.”

The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund:The House of Representatives almost turned into the Fight Club Thursday night, when Democrats ruled that a GOP motion had failed even though, when the gavel fell, the electronic score board showed it winning 215-213 along with the word FINAL. The presiding officer, Rep. Mike McNulty (D., N.Y.), actually spoke over the clerk who was trying to announce the result.


“In the ensuing confusion several members changed their votes and the GOP measure to deny illegal aliens benefits such as food stamps then trailed 212-216. Boiling-mad Republicans stormed off the floor. The next day, their fury increased when they learned electronic records of the vote had disappeared from the House's voting system.


“Speaker Nancy Pelosi made matters worse when she told reporters, ‘There was no mistake made last night.’ Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had to rescue her by acknowledging that, while he thought no wrongdoing had occurred, the minority party was ‘understandably angry.’ Under pressure, the House unanimously agreed to create a select committee, with subpoena powers, to investigate Republican charges the vote had been ‘stolen.’” (Wall Street Journal’s John Fund, 8/6/07)



The Seattle Times


Seattle Times: “What ensued is now the subject of a congressional investigation, which will determine how an apparent 215-213 victory by Republicans became a 216-212 win for Democrats. Even [Washington Democrat Rick] Larsen, who voted with his party, wasn't certain how the roll call moved that night. ‘I looked up and the board had changed,’ he said.” (Seattle Times, 8/6/07)


The Daily Briefing

Columbus (OH) Dispatch’s Daily Briefing: “GOP Fumes Over Democratic Vote Change. Republicans like Rep. Pat Tiberi of Genoa Township are still angry today over the actions of House Democrats late last night during a close vote on a GOP procedural motion. Republicans last night initially thought they had won the vote when it was gaveled closed, 215-213. But then the vote was declared not over, and Rep. Zack Space of Dover was one of several Democrats who changed their votes. In the end, the official result was Democrats defeating the GOP motion, 216-212. … ‘Last night, I joined my fellow Republicans and walked off the floor of the House in disgust,’ Tiberi said. ‘The Democrats' maneuver last night as they trampled House rules by changing members’ votes, in order to defeat a Republican measure that would have banned illegal immigrants from receiving certain government benefits, showed a blatant disregard for House rules, policies, and practices.’” (Columbus Dispatch’s Daily Briefing, 8/3/07)



Santa Clarita Radio - KHTS AM-1220


KHTS Radio (Santa Clarita, CA): “McKeon Votes To Oppose Providing Illegal Immigrants Benefits. He is ‘appalled by Democrats unethically changing final vote.’ Yesterday, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon made the following statement on the Democrat maneuver late last night to reverse the outcome of a vote that would have barred illegal immigrants from receiving taxpayer-funded benefits: ‘Last night’s unethical maneuver by the Democrats to overturn the final vote on a motion to send the agriculture funding bill back to committee was disgraceful, but even more outrageous was the unjust defeat of the motion that would have also kept American taxpayer dollars out of the hands of illegal aliens.’” (KHTS, 8/4/07)



Troy (NY) Record: “Rep. Michael McNulty, D-Green Island, made his way onto the popular video Internet site YouTube after enraging Republicans Thursday night when he gaveled a tight vote to close. McNulty, who was sitting in for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, found himself drawing boos mostly from the minority after he apparently gaveled in favor of Democrats on a motion to bar illegal immigrants from receiving federal funds in an agricultural spending bill. The close vote was gaveled away by McNulty to a 214 to 214 failure, but Republicans argued the tally was really 215 to 213 in their favor. Angered over the loss, Republicans began chanting ‘shame, shame, shame,’ and then walked out in protest – a scene that was posted on the Internet video Web site YouTube shortly after the incident [sic] irrupted.” (Troy Record, 8/4/07)


Real Clear Politics


Real Clear Politics: House Democrats' Unforced Error. Late Thursday night there was a significant uproar on the House floor as Democrats undid a vote they had lost over the issue of subsidies to illegal immigrants … While the general public may not understand all the nuances of parliamentary tactics, they do understand that you don't change or ‘fix’ the score after the game has been played … The stolen vote wasn't just 'inconvenient' for Republican politicians; it was an affront to the millions of Americans we were representing … This little episode may not gather a lot of attention with the broader public and the press, but the Democrats, through a needless unforced error – made significantly worse by a lack of judgment as to how to deal with losing a vote they did not have to lose – have given the Republicans a club...” (Real Clear Politics, John McEntire, 8/6/07)

“House Forms Special Panel Over Alleged Stolen Vote”

The Washington Post: “The House last night unanimously agreed to create a special select committee, with subpoena powers, to investigate Republican allegations that Democratic leaders had stolen a victory from the House GOP on a parliamentary vote late Thursday night.

“The move capped a remarkable day that started with Republicans marching out of the House in protest near midnight Thursday, was punctuated by partisan bickering, and ended with Democratic hopes for a final legislative rush fading. … The agreement to form a special committee was extraordinary. Such powerful investigative committees are usually reserved for issues such as the Watergate scandal and the funneling of profits from Iranian arms sales to the Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s. I don't know when something like this has happened before,’ said House deputy historian Fred W. Beuttler. He called the decision ‘incredible.

“GOP lawmakers had marched out of the House chamber about 11 p.m. Thursday, shouting ‘shame, shame’ and saying that Democrats had ‘stolen’ a vote on a parliamentary motion to pull an agriculture spending bill off the floor until it incorporated an explicit denial of federal benefits to illegal immigrants.” (The Washington Post, 8/4/07)

Los Angeles Times: The GOP measure would have amended the agriculture bill to ensure that no funds could be used to employ or provide housing for illegal immigrants — about half of the 2.5 million workers on U.S. farms. … The move infuriated Democratic leaders, who saw it as a political maneuver to force their party's vulnerable freshman members to take a difficult vote that could be used against them next year on the campaign trail. … In a maneuver that recalled the high-handed tactics of House leaders from generations past, the Democrat lawmaker presiding over the chamber brought down his gavel, ending the vote…” (Los Angeles Times, 8/4/07)

The Washington Times: “It usually takes several years for a House majority to overreach like Democrats did Thursday night. But now we see enraged House Republicans credibly accusing Democrats of stealing a vote, followed by a Republican walkout, the first in the House in years. …The short version: Republicans sought to send the agriculture bill back to committee to block federal employment and rental assistance for illegal aliens. Democrats supported these agriculture-bill loopholes.

Glitch or no glitch, this was an outrage. Democrats at minimum were content to appear to tell Republican lawmakers that their vote and their silm apparent victory didn't count. On Friday, House Minority Leader John Boehner and Minority Whip Roy Blunt vowed to halt all House business except foreign intelligence surveillance reform and bridge-safety legislation until the matter is resolved — as they should. …

A vote is a vote. It is particularly egregious for House Democrats to attempt to rescind the outcome on an issue so clear-cut as public assistance for illegal aliens. Illegal aliens who disregard our immigration laws should not also be allowed to enjoy public benefits courtesy of the American taxpayer.” (Editorial, The Washington Times, 8/4/07)

Chicago Tribune: “…House Republicans remained spitting mad. At one Capitol Hill press conference, Republican lawmakers to a person, referred to the Democratic leadership as the "Democrat leadership" a subtle difference that upsets many Democrats because of the fondness of conservative bloggers to emphasize the last syllable. … Republicans framed the issue as Democrats violating the rules of the House as well their own rules in order to transfer taxpayers' money in the form of welfare benefits to illegal immigrants. If you're in the Democratic leadership, that's got to give you a headache. (Chicago Tribune, “The Swamp” blog, 8/3/07)

“Vote cutoff creates furor in House”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: “The trouble began about 11 p.m. Thursday, as Republicans tried to send an agriculture spending bill back to the drawing board. They said it needed to be altered to prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining taxpayer- funded food stamps. Furious Republicans shouted ‘Shame, Shame, Shame,’ before leaving the House floor. Republicans want the vote to be reversed, said Cincinnati Republican Steve Chabot. ‘They don't count our votes any more,’ added Springfield Republican David Hobson. ‘They ran for these jobs and accused us all of holding votes open and doing chicanery to them, and now they're doing worse. Our people are just enraged by it.’” (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/4/07)

“Democrats Cheat On House Vote”

The Rush Limbaugh Show: “We're laughing at this but this is a serious thing.  The Democrats are hell-bent on getting these illegal immigrants here and making them voters They're hell-bent on expanding the redistribution of wealth.  They are hell-bent on getting them in here and getting them on our welfare rolls and the social safety net, which we, more properly, have termed here the hammock.  The Republicans thought they defeated it last night, and I'm sure they did, and the Democrats just couldn't put up with that so they just stole the vote.  The Republicans are not letting go of this.” (The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/3/07)

AP Associated Press

Associated Press:  “Republicans continued to steam … over the episode in which they appeared to be the winners by a 215-213 tally on a procedural motion designed to make sure illegal immigrants would not get certain benefits from an agriculture spending bill. … Republicans prevailed upon their Democratic rivals to establish a special panel to investigate the manner in which the vote was handled.” (AP, 8/3/07)