The Brave Girondins
Unfortunately, in her book, Radicals -- Politics and Republicanism in the French Revolution, Prof. Leigh Ann Whaley seems to admire the most radical Jacobins and by bringing down the reputation of the brave Girondins, she hopes to bring all the radicals of the French Revolution to the same level. No easy task! And so it was the Girondins' fault that they were executed. The purged Girondin Deputies had been "intransigent" and had acted "illegally," rising against the National Convention, as if this violated legislature was acting lawfully and with legitimate authority. It did not. Anarchy and tyranny had become the order of the day in France, and the Jacobin fanatics without the Girondin opposition were now unopposed and free to begin the Reign of Terror.
Even if the Girondins had been lawfully executed, as Prof. Whaley suggests, for rising against the Convention, what can be said then about the extermination of the aristocrats, the monarchists, the clergy, the Feuillants (constitutional monarchist), and later, Danton himself, the titan of the Revolution, and his friends (the "indulgents")? Why were all of these citizens and factions...
The Founding Fathers in their wisdom established a Constitutional Republic with a federal system in which each and every state, large and small, has a major stake in the election of the chief executives, the President and Vice President, of the United States of America.
This federal system incorporated an enduring system of checks and balances, separation of powers, limited government, and indirect representation. Within this conceptual framework, the Electoral College has served us well for over two centuries. What is the Electoral College? It's the body of electors chosen by the citizens of each state to elect the President and Vice President of these United States. The number of electors equals the number of U.S. senators (two) and U.S. Representatives for each particular state, and thus represents not only the wishes of the citizens but also the interests of the states.
These slates of electors are pledged to cast their ballots for a presidential ticket (e.g., Democrat or Republican). The national ticket getting the majority of Electoral College votes wins the election.
While other nations from so-called People's Republics and...
Seventy-eight-year-old Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, dressed in his usual olive green fatigues, tripped and fell fracturing his left knee and sustaining a hairline fracture of the upper right arm Wednesday, October 20, 2004. He had just finished giving a speech at a graduation ceremony in Santa Clara when the incident happened.
Security personnel rushed to his rescue to help him up. Shortly after, Fidel spoke briefly and stated that he was still "all in one piece." Sweating profusely, he added that he will do all that he could to get well soon, "but as you can see I can still talk."
Three years ago he fainted after having given a long speech under the hot sun. At his age, it may be that these episodes are the secondary manifestations of more serious conditions such as advanced cerebral arteriosclerosis and insufficient cerebral circulation, presenting clinically as a condition medically referred to as transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). If this is the case, you can be sure that the medical condition of the Maximum Leader will remains a closely guarded secret.
If hardening of his arteries and associated formation of cholesterol plaques (cerebral...
We have seen that the French Revolution did not give the French people a true constitutional republic extending to its citizens the natural rights of man to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The French Revolution wanted to go beyond that and create a utopia of happiness, misunderstanding liberty and adding fraternity and equality to the brew. Forced fraternity and equality were proven to be and remain mutually exclusive from individual liberty. While our American republic respected the rule of law and protected the basic concepts of individual rights and freedom ---namely, life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness--- the French Revolution established mob rule followed by dictatorship. It showed the world and put into practice the scissor strategy of forcing radical change upon society using fear and ultimately, terror as its basis ---a methodology that Karl Marx later expounded into dialetical materialism and communism. That philosophy, Marxism, would cost an excess of 100 million people their lives in the tainted 20th century.
The French Revolution had the least amount of success implementing the wealth redistribution policies of some of its...
In Part I of this essay, we discussed the secret epidemic of dengue fever, the Cuban gulag, and other aspects of Cuban medicine leading to a poor state of health in that Caribbean island, based on Dr. Dessy Mendoza Rivero's book ¡Dengue!-La Epidemia Secreta de Fidel Castro (Dengue! The Secret Epidemic of Fidel Castro).
Cuba's health care system is a disaster for both patients and physicians. Because of the meager salaries paid Cuban physicians, on the average 400 pesos per month (equivalent to $20 U.S.!), many doctors quit the profession and seek jobs in the only industry that offers any chance for economic opportunity and access to dollars---the Cuban tourism industry. Doctors can be found driving dilapidated taxis, acting as tour guides, or even working in the paladares (family inns) as meseros (waiters) or cooks.
Those who choose to remain in the medical profession suffer long hours of work and lamentable working conditions. This is particularly true for female physicians who, despite the "liberation" of the Revolution, are not only working mothers but also the spouses who shoulder the lion's share of domestic chores in a persistently machismo-oriented society...
Those in the United States who yearn for a more "egalitarian" and "equitable" system of medical care "like the one in Cuba" are not familiar with the extraordinary saga of Cuban physician Dr. Dessy Mendoza Rivero, who has managed to get the word out for anyone willing to listen. And they should. ¡Dengue!-La Epidemia Secreta de Fidel Castro (Dengue! The Secret Epidemic of Fidel Castro) is the title of his book and one that should be read attentively.
Dr. Dessy Mendoza Rivero's saga is a perfect vehicle to discuss and expose the realities of Cuba's universal "free" socialized system of medical care.
In this book, we learn that Cuba's health care system is in fact in shambles, a veritable disaster, a disgraceful tragic regression from the once advanced medical care system of the 1950s in the pre-Castro years.
The Arrest of a Medical Dissident
The book begins with Dr. Mendoza's dramatic arrest at his home in his native city of Santiago de Cuba, the country's second-largest city, located on the easternmost portion of the island and home of the Sierra Maestra mountains.
Dr. Mendoza's crime was that of investigating, revealing, and forcing the...
The 26th of July is the most sacred day of Cuba's communist revolution, commemorating 51 years since that fateful day that began the insurrection against Fulgencio Batista. The article that follows is excerpted from Chapter Four of Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.'s book, Cuba in Revolution - Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). The references refer to citations in the text of his book.
The date of the Moncada Barracks attack, July 26, 1953, would give Fidel Castro the name of his organization, the 26th of July movement, and would become the most sacred date of communist Cuba. And, speaking of sacredness, why did Fidel Castro choose the 26th of July for the commencement of his Revolution? Sources tell us Fidel chose July 26 because the patron saint of the city of Santiago de Cuba was the Apostle James the Elder. In medieval Spanish tradition he was resurrected as Santiago the Moorslayer, the avenging angel of the Spanish knights during the Reconquista, as well as the charging fury that led the indomitable conquistadores of Hernán Cortes when battling the Aztecs of Mexico.
The saint was honored every July 25, which also coincided with the end of the sugar harvest, hence...
The Incorruptible, Maximilien Robespierre, the Voice of Reason, did not give the French people a Republic of Virtue but a bloody reign of terror incited by mob rule, and the descent into barbarism with the mass killings of men, women, and children by their own government, not because of their deeds or misdeeds, or any real crimes, but because of their birth, opinions, and associations -- or simply, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The guillotine was kept busy during the Terror, and when it was not fast enough cutting commoner and aristocratic heads, other grisly methods were used, such as burning, hacking, stabbing, shootings, even cannonades. In the city of Nantes, the sanguinary Carrier instituted the brutal "republican marriages" whereby naked men and women were tied together and thrown into the Loire River. Others were simply tied to barges that were scuttled with resultant mass drownings, the infamous noyades.
At the time of the King's Trial, many deputies spoke, acted, and voted in fear of their lives (even Danton alluded to this, "it's our heads or theirs," according to author, Stanley Loomis), after all, they were deliberating in the belly...
July 14 is Bastille Day, a national holiday in France that commemorates 215 years from the day a Parisian mob stormed the "infamous" prison and commenced the upheaval of the French Revolution. The collapse of Soviet communism should not deter the invocation of the dreadful legacy of the French Revolution, the same revolution that a century later inspired the even bloodier Russian Revolution and its communist aftermath.
The French Revolution began not with the clamor of the common people but with the theoretical conjectures of the blue-blooded aristocracy and the high clergy of the ancien régime, who had fallen for and become enamored with the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the views of the enlightenment.
This was convincingly demonstrated in the Assembly of Notables in February 1787, a gathering of wise men that King Louis XVI (photo, right) called for and convened to help him solve economic problems afflicting France, particularly the lack of solvency. This Assembly of Notables, in turn, advised the King to call the Estates General, the body which traditionally had the authority to raise taxes but which had not been summoned since 1614 during the reign of...
Enrique Encinosa's most awaited, comprehensive history (in English) of the Cuban people's struggle against the 45-year-old communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro has finally arrived. The book chronicles in riveting detail, chapter after chapter, the heroism displayed by the Cuban people in their fight against repression and tyranny.
Encinosa uses the voice of the actual participants (who he has carefully interviewed over the years) to tell the story - and what an epic (and brutal) story he has to tell to his widening readership!
The book covers the triumph of the Revolution in 1959; the subsequent disillusionment of many revolutionary leaders as they realize that Castro was building a communist police state; the founding of the resistance movement and the underground networks; the rounding up of the opposition; the development of the rebel insurgency in the Escambray mountains and elsewhere, opposing communism and collectivism; the betrayal at the Bay of Pigs; the courageous struggle of the political prisoners (particularly the plantados); the heating up of the Escambray wars and Castro's massive retaliation in the Luchas Contra Bandidos (the so-called war against...