Longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro is dead at age 90. While many around the world spoke highly of Castro’s success in greatly reducing illiteracy and proving basic services like health care, I have long been critical of his reign and his enablers in the West. Whatever success he achieved, he did so through a brutal dictatorship that denied freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and other basic civil liberties. For those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s, he was a defining character of our generation. The menace across the border. When we were being taught to shelter under our desks in any nuclear attack, it was his image with that of the Soviet premier that would be flashed across the screen. It was a time of utter madness and mania — on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
We have yet another example of the barbaric application of Islamic Sharia law — a medieval system that is used in many Muslim nations to impose Islamic values on citizens. The latest example comes from Saudi Arabia where two women were sentenced by a Sharia “judge” to 20 lashes after having been found guilty of using bad language over WhatsApp.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel long ago established herself as a menace to free speech, particularly in her decision to first apologize to authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a satirical poem and then approve the prosecution of the comedian is a shocking and chilling disgrace. Now, she is throwing her support behind a crackdown on “hate speech” on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — radically expanding the already broad scope of government regulation of speech.
We have followed the actions of various universities and colleges to bar conservative speech either by declaring their positions as hate speech or claiming a campus security risk. One of the targets of this content-based censorship has been conservative British commentator Milo Yiannopoulos. Now, Yiannopoulos, 32, has been barred from speaking at his own former grammar school in the United Kingdom: Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury.
We have previously discussed how some European countries limit the names that can be given to chidren, including some with approved lists of names. We have seen such controversies arise in this country with children, for example, named after Adolph Hitler. However, this generally remains a protected right of parents in the United States. The latest case comes out of France where a court will decide whether a Muslim family can use the name of Mohamed Merah, an Islamic radical who killed seven people in 2012.
Dubai has been promoting its country as a vacation spot to the world — a rather implausible destination for most. Attracting Western tourists to a country that follows Muslim rules is a hard sell. That was driven home by the latest outrage from an Islamic legal system after Zara-Jayne Moisey, 25, reported her gang rape and gave the names of her attackers (two British men). Dubai police responded by allowing the alleged rapists to leave the country and then arrested Moisey for criminal extra-marital sex. Welcome to Dubai, the desert paradise.
We have yet another example of how our government has thrown away billions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan without any discipline or repercussions for federal officials or contractors. The latest example is the “ghost hotel” of Kabul — a massive construction site for the Marriott Kabul that has never been completed but the taxpayer money has checked out without a trace. Just poof. It could be the perfect place for our ghost army to vacation at our ghost hotel.