Coping with the Olympics – Cuban Revolutionaries – “McCarthyism” – Jewish Confederates
July 31, 2012 2 Comments
No one hates the Olympics more than me. The whole thing hasn’t been about sport since about 1936. Its a glory project for politicians. Londoners are now forced to witness the last monument to Tony Blair’s megalomania.
When the Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1932, President Hoover didn’t even bother officiating at the opening ceremonies because “they weren’t important”. Once upon a time, you could have visited a city hosting this farce and not have noticed it. So much has changed, for the worse.
The opening ceremony itself was an exercise of totalitarian state-worship that probably made the North Koreans feel most at home. It was, of course, Hitler and Goebbels that started most of this nonsense. They would have been proud of the grandiose worship of the state health service, without which we would surely die – like everyone who got sick and wasn’t a life peer or railroad magnate before it was established. Then there was the poor young boy on his bicycle in Essex; grabbed by the neck and thrown on the street in front of a moving vehicle during the Torch Relay (another Nazi innovation). And lets not forget the residents who were forcibly evicted from their homes in order to make way for the happy jamboree, and the others who had their homes converted into missile launching sites. Its a shame they weren’t Palestinians or Travellers, they might have attracted some solidarity rallies. All Danny Boyle had to do was praise the NHS, and the lefties got suckered.
And yet, and yet: I’ve noticed many of the train stations are actually quieter than usual this summer. Outside of the Mall, the center of town is unusually sparse. Every place I go, from the British Museum to Brent Cross, seems less trafficked than it ought to be. Yes, potential visitors are avoiding this city like a plague during the Olympics. Some Londoners have fled. Which may be the only good that comes from this insane project (for myself at least, and not for many a business). Once again, the supposed bonanza of tourism the Olympics is supposed to bring doesn’t eventuate.
By the way, are you aware that Oswaldo Payá died?
Do you know who Oswaldo Payá was?
Not many have heard of Payá, the peaceful campaigner against the one-party rule of the Cuban communists. He was a tireless advocate for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Payá was killed in a car crash. Question marks linger over the incident. There are suggestions that he was rammed off the road. Only nine months ago did another activist, Laura Pollán, also die mysteriously, only to be cremated within two hours of her death. Police arrested 50 Cubans who attended Payá’s funeral.
Perhaps a statue of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas or Laura Pollán will one day grace an Irish town. I wont hold my breath.
“McCarthyism” is an interesting snarl word. It’s recently been leveled against Michele Bachmann (one ‘l’, two ‘n’s’). Bachmann pointed out that the deputy chief of staff and aide to Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, has family links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Some unwanted attention fell on Mrs. Abedin. Bachmann came under fire when one man threatened Abedin with death. Nobody cared to mention that the perpetrator was a Muslim, probably angry about her marriage to a Jew (and all-round creep), Anthony Weiner.
The rules for the use of the “McCarthyism” slur are complex and mysterious. I’ve never heard it used, for example, against those who constantly write and rant about the ‘Israel Lobby’, despite such rants leading to great excesses in the past. I speak as a person who’s received plenty of death threats for what I write about Israel – no doubt a lot more such threats than Huma Abedin.
Its a shame how few lawyers that read ‘Benjamin’s Sale of Goods‘ – the authoritative work on this area of commercial law – are aware of the amazing life its author lived. Judah P. Benjamin was a lawyer and US Senator who became the Confederacy’s Attorney General, Secretary of War and later Secretary of State. His image graced the Confederate $2 bill. As the most prominent American Jew of the 19th Century and a member of the Confederate Cabinet, he has naturally been of great interest to me. Yet until recently I was totally unaware of this gem, recounted in Tablet Magazine:
”In 1943, the United Daughters of the Confederacy… erected a pink granite monument to Benjamin on the Sarasota, Fla., plantation where he set sail to escape his U.S. Army pursuers. As the segregated units of America’s Jim Crow army marched into battle against Hitler’s Jew-hunting Wehrmacht, a UDC official intoned, “While Hitlerites spew lies that tend to arouse anti-Jewish passions … Florida, through the United Daughters of the Confederacy, does well to build this monument … for it will stand as a guidepost and reminder that this nation is still the pillar of freedom and tolerance. It is the south’s personal challenge to Nazism and hate”.”
Its also a pity that Benjamin’s old New Orleans home is now a strip club.
I hope you have enjoyed my experiment in Herb Caen-style ‘three-dot journalism’.