Last Saturday evening I listened to a sermon at a Mega-Church here in California. My wife and I attend this Church, not because we are Christians, but because the Pastor covers early Christian history in the Roman Empire and he is both an excellent speaker and extremely knowledgeable about that period. Generally his religious comments reveal what I would call a ‘Liberal’ mindset that I suspect is typical of Pastors in the Silicon Valley. After all, few here wish to appear bigoted or too conservative, especially on abortion and homosexual activity. This Pastor had been absent from the Church for a couple of weeks and in this service he revealed that he had just returned from Cuba, where he had been visiting and supporting some Christian groups.
Over the months he has been taking the Congregation through the writings of Paul the Apostle and dealing with the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire in the immediate aftermath of Christ’s Crucifixion. The newly founded Christian Churches which were spreading across the Empire were constantly the victims of persecution, both from the multi-racial and multi-cultural bureaucratic government of the Emperor and also from the influential and intolerant Jewish hierarchy that was a force in many cities. To become a Christian in this period was to risk not only one’s livelihood but also one’s life, and many of Christ’s surviving followers met extremely cruel deaths. So did the new converts and yet despite this the Christian Church continued to grow.
I mention the theme of the sermons because I think it explains why the Pastor suddenly took time off to launch into an uncompromising attack on the Government of Cuba. Describing the persecution of Christians in Cuba and the tribulations they face in following their Faith, it was impossible not to see the parallels with those of Ancient Rome. Christians in Cuba hold their Services in cramped apartment buildings in people’s homes, always fearing a knock on the door and a visit from the police. People disappear into Prison and have no Rights. Despite this, the Pastor was hugely struck by the enthusiasm and optimism of these persecuted Christians, for they were unlike the general population whose faces betrayed nothing but hopelessness. He was unequivocal in saying several times that Socialism is a disaster for the people, bringing poverty, fear and ugliness. “Why do Socialists love concrete?” he asked as he described the ugly concrete towers that the people are forced to inhabit. “Cuba” he said “is an island prison of Socialism”. I am not sure that his words went down well with some of the Californian Christians in the congregation, for them Cuba and Castro continue to be identified with progress, anti-racism and the innate goodness of Socialism. To those of us who have studied Soviet history and experienced membership of Leftist organizations, it does not come as a shock to hear that Cuba is one large prison camp. If today’s Leftists continue to have their way in the USA and Europe we too will live in vast prison camps for as we often say on this website ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’.
This latest and (to some) shocking report from Cuba struck me forcefully as I read in the Monday newspapers that the US and NATO (Europe) forces are increasing the bombing of Libya. The US involvement in Libya’s civil war was, according to President Obama who personally initiated it, only going to last a few days. US intervention was to be limited only to protecting civilians in rebel-held territory in Benghazi. Here we are months on and with an increasing involvement, as we repeatedly bomb the capital Tripoli and Government forces all across Libya. This week the US House of Representatives passed an overwhelming vote calling-in effect- on the President to rein in US involvement and to come before Congress and justify US involvement in this civil war and lay out his plan. Another vote, brought about by Democrat Kucinich of Ohio and calling for immediate troop withdrawal, was defeated 265-148. 87 Republicans and 61 Democrats voted for immediate withdrawal.
Now anyone in the US who still believes anything this President says, is a fool fit only for an asylum, for his whole career has been crafted on lies. He has brought to the White House a lawlessness that is unprecedented, even by Nixon. He has surrounded himself with liars and those whose first inclination is to act lawlessly. Eric Holder is a prime example but no principled person would serve this Administration. So when Obama joined the US military into the NATO attacks in Libya only a fool would have believed his talk of ‘only a few days’ and ‘just protecting civilians’. On this website we do not believe that Obama had or has a secret plan that he is pursuing in Libya. This President is a shallow opportunist and his reasons for taking us into the NATO campaign almost certainly were based on the needs of his own political career and impulsiveness. Now, having taken the US into Libya and finding that he miscalculated Gadhaffi’s staying power, he no doubt feels that he must have the US do whatever it takes to remove the Libyan leader and claim a great victory. The same motives probably apply to the shallow careerists who lead the UK, France and other European countries. No doubt, many Representatives in the US House secretly hold Obama in the same low regard as Radical and Right and assume that his next step will be to commit US ground troops, probably rationalized with more outrageous lies- hence the House vote.
The anti-war Left is predictably silent. Some conservative commentators say that this is always the case when a Democrat President goes to war, and no doubt some Leftists remain silent out of sheer loyalty. However, we think that the silence is not so much loyalty as strong support for his other policies. Most of the self-styled anti-war activists have a much larger agenda and use anti-war sentiment only as device, for their real agenda is almost always to bring about a revolutionary transformation of society. Scratch an anti-war protestor and you will find a pro-abortionist, a Christian-hater, a supporter of sodomy, an opponent of free speech, an enthusiastic supporter of Big Government, a believer in political correctness and a believer in the principle that your earnings belong to ‘the people’. Obama is delivering on all of the above and so gets a pass on any tactics he embraces in order to be re-elected.
And so, I come to this question! Why is the US interfering in Libya and not in Cuba? Cuba’s people are daily being cruelly persecuted by the Castro Government and most would escape to the US if they could get out of this prison. Cuba is on our doorstep. Castro has long been an enemy of the US and forged alliances with any and all of our enemies. In Florida alone, we have large numbers of Cubans who would love to be able to return to a democratic Cuba. I could answer my question but regular visitors to this website should be able to answer for themselves. Needless to say, Obama and his comrades would never consider doing to Cuba what they are now doing to Libya.
I must again call attention to the weather and Global Warming. Here in California the cold weather continues. We are in June and daily temperatures have rarely got above 69 F. More rain and cool cloudy weather, day after day after day, have resulted in hills and mountains that have yet to significantly change color. This is the second consecutive year that low temperatures and above-average rainfall have persisted. I am not complaining about the weather, only about the insulting insistence of our Media Class rulers to try to tell us that we are being deceived by our lying eyes. And still the high tide waters at Starcross remain just as they were 60 years ago.
Music Time – Chet Baker was born in Oklahoma in 1929 and ten years later his family moved to California where in his early teens he discovered the trumpet and jazz. Baker was influenced by the trumpet players of the Big Band era and also by the outstanding songs, many of them ‘romantic’, that came out of the 1930’s and early 1940’s. However he was also present when bebop and Charlie Parker came to California in the immediate post-war period. Baker had the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time and was able to hear and play with Parker. Consequently, Baker, who was a natural and hugely talented musician, never quite fell into any specific category as a jazz trumpet player. He was not essentially a bebop player, certainly not a swing player and only at times an exponent of the Californian ‘Cool School’ of jazz. He came to prominence as a result of playing In Gerry Mulligan’s piano-less Quartet and ‘Walkin’ Shoes’ is an excellent recording from this period. Baker, with his sulky look, physical resemblance to James Dean and reckless life-style, soon achieved both the fame and notoriety rarely enjoyed by accomplished jazz musicians. This bred some resentment amongst fellow musicians who mostly scuffed along for a living. After the early deaths of Fats Novarro and Clifford Brown, both outstanding Black trumpet players, Miles Davis, a relatively limited trumpet player who had played with Parker took center stage. Throughout his playing career in California and then beyond, Baker was constantly compared to Davis and found wanting by critics, for he was White, often objectionable in behavior, not ‘cutting edge’ and yet popular beyond the jazz clubs and famous.
He was, in fact, a far better player than the stumbling Davis but could not be categorized, especially when he revealed his love of standard ballads and a wish to sing them. The Baker CD Album “Let’s Get Lost” is stuffed with wonderful and adult romantic tunes, the like of which will never be written again, including the title track, “You Don’t Know What Love Is”, “Just Friends”. “Everything Happens To Me” and “The Thrill Is Gone”. But Baker had another less well-known side to his playing and his sessions from club dates with the excellent piano player Russ Freeman, Carson Smith on bass and Bob Neel on drums reveal an exciting player with astonishing technique and creativity. I recommend the track taken from the album ‘Jazz at Ann Arbor’, a fast and joyous version of the Hanley tune “Zing Went the Strings of my Heart”. Baker’s later life was the predictable disaster that his habits and personality were bound to end in but this recording alone confirms that Baker was a minor genius of adult music.