Society's ChildS


Fidel Castro's speech the day after the JFK assassination - insightful analysis of U.S. propaganda

© Associated PressFidel Castro
"The following is the text of a speech/commentary delivered by Fidel Castro on Cuban radio and Tv, Saturday evening, November 23, 1963, one day after the assassination of President Kennedy. The speech gives the reader insight into the immediate analysis of the assassination which a political expert such as Castro was able to make.

This English translation of the speech was released by the Cuban delegation to the United Nations in 1963. It is here reproduced with minor editing of grammar and punctuation."

Excerpted from History Will Not Absolve Us (1996) by Martin Schotz

Concerning the Facts and Consequences of the Tragic Death of President John F. Kennedy

November 23rd, 1963

by Fidel Castro

Always, when something very important has happened, national or international, we have thought it desirable to speak
to the people, to express our opinions. And in every such case to express the orientation of the Government, the orientation of our Party, so that each one of us all know the attitude we should adopt in each one of these situations.

It is true that we are somewhat accustomed to various types of unexpected events, important, serious events, because since the victory of the Revolution our country has had to face a series of problems, a series of situations that have prepared the people to carry forward their victorious revolution.

Therefore, because of the events of yesterday in the United States in which the President was murdered, because of the
repercussion these events can have, because of the role that the United States plays in the problems of international policy, because of this, we believe that we should make a specially objective and calm analysis of these events and of their possible consequences.

The government of the United States, the former administration of Eisenhower and the Kennedy administration, did not practice precisely a policy of friendship toward us. The policy of both administrations was characterized by its aggressive, hostile, and implacable spirit toward our country.

Our country was the victim of economic aggressions intended to cause the ruin of our economy and the starvation of our
people; it was the victim of all kinds of attacks that caused bloodshed; hundreds of our compatriots have lost their lives,
defending themselves from attacks of U.S. imperialism, and not only this. The hostility and the aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism toward our country took us to the brink of war which was fortunately avoided, took the world to the brink of thermonuclear war.

And even when we were not facing a situation like the crisis of October, and the time of the invasion of Giron [Bay of Pigs], we were all perfectly aware that if the plots they were planning against our country had been carried through, that is to say, if imperialism had been able to establish a beachhead on our shores, that struggle would have cost our people tens of thousands, and perhaps even hundreds of thousands of lives.

We have been victims of the constant hostility of the United States. And among the rulers and the leading men of the United States, there falls on Kennedy an important responsibility in these events.

Nevertheless, the news of the murder of the President of the United States is serious news and bad news. We should analyze it thoroughly in order to understand it; above all, analyze it serenely and dispassionately, as revolutionaries should analyze these things.

I say it is bad news, leaving aside the human question, in that the sensitivity of man, any man, is affected by an act of this
nature, by a crime, by a murder. I say that leaving these questions aside, I always react and I am sure that this is the
reaction of the immense majority of human beings - we always react with repulsion toward murder and toward crime.

We cannot consider this to be a correct weapon of struggle - no, we cannot consider that. Above all under the conditions in which it happened, because - like all these things - it is always necessary to consider the atmosphere, the things, the

In other settings, under other circumstances, whatever they may be in a normal situation, in a peaceful situation, a deed of this nature is never justifiable. Especially in the middle of a crowd, in the presence of women, all these things, which above all - I say - are the circumstances that lead us to take a condemnatory attitude toward something, even though some deeds of a political nature, some crimes of a political nature, may or may not be justified.

In the circumstances that surrounded the assassination of President Kennedy, we believe it has no justification.

But analyzing the question from the political, objective point of view, I also said it was serious news, bad news.

Che Guevara

Mandela, the man once branded a 'terrorist' by the US

Nelson Mandela
© Getty Images
In 2008 just before his 90th birthday, the United States gave Nelson Mandela a special present, striking him from a decades-old terror watch list and ending what US officials called "a rather embarrassing matter."

By then the anti-apartheid icon had long left behind the jail cells where he was incarcerated for 27 years, and was already enjoying retirement and his status as one of the most revered statesmen of the 20th century after becoming South Africa's first black president.

In past years, US officials have beaten a path to his door in his family village hoping some of his almost saint-like aura would rub off on them.

On Thursday, when Mandela died at age 95, President Barack Obama hailed him as belonging "to the ages" and ordered that flags on US government buildings be flown at half-mast -- a rare tribute to a foreign leader.

Yet decades ago many in America did not share in the adulation of Mandela and his African National Congress (ANC), which had been billed a terrorist organization by both South Africa and the United States. His severest right-wing critics painted him as an unrepentant terrorist and a communist sympathizer.

It was even reported that the CIA had helped engineer Mandela's 1962 arrest when an agent inside the ANC supplied South African security officials with a tip-off to track him down.

Arrow Down

German boy in coma needs faithful dog friend beside him

A 10-year-old German boy has been in a coma since birth and for years has had a trusty and loyal American Staffordshire terrier by his side, guarding over him and giving him love. Now authorities want to take her away from him.

While the boy, Dylan, sometimes opens his eyes, doctors say that he is only partially conscious. He has been in a persistent vegetative state since birth, but that is no problem for the loyal Tascha, she stays right there by his side.

The bad news is that authorities, using the excuse of breed specific legislation, now want to take the dog away from Dylan. They say that she is dangerous. The family is seeking support to keep her and apparently around 213,000 people have signed up for a campaign to keep the dog right where she is.

In the video above you can see images of six-year-old Tascha licking Dylan's hand, resting her head on his arm. But still authorities try to say that she is dangerous.

"When Tascha lies by him, the boy becomes much calmer and his pulse and breathing relax," said his father Eckhard Gerzmehle.


24 hours of looting and civil unrest in Córdoba, Argentina

In the last 24 hours, the province of Córdoba spiraled out of control, with the very fabric of society being torn apart after a sudden absence of law and order sent a portion of the population into a looting frenzy and residents and store owners boarded up windows and doors, grabbed their shotguns and climbed to their roofs, waiting for the inevitable encounter with the enemy.

No, I am not exaggerating. This is what was happening until a few hours ago in an otherwise idyllic province known for its sun, its mountains and fun-loving population. Córdoba was immersed in pervasive social unrest that has left at least two people dead, dozens injured and landed many others in jail. So if you're having trouble understanding why, here's an explanation.


Atheists: Religion does more than just hurt people - religion kills people

Dave Muscato
On Friday night on his Fox News Channel show, Bill O'Reilly made a show of attempting to understand the motivations and thinking of the people he deemed "angry" atheists, asking, "Are they that bitter against religion?"

Raw Story spoke with Dave Muscato of American Atheists, Inc. to find out whether there was any merit to O'Reilly's charges, which were part of the cable host's annual protest against the so-called "War on Christmas."

"Bill O'Reilly has this fantasy that Christians are being persecuted," Muscato said, when in fact, "Bill O'Reilly is the epitome of a privileged person; a straight, white, cisgender American. The reason that he's obsessed with this 'War on Christmas' is because he knows there's nothing he's really being oppressed by."

When asked if he is an "angry atheist," Muscato laughed and said, "I'm a passionate atheist. And I believe that there is a place for anger in activism. Anger is a natural emotional response to injustice and I don't think we need to apologize for that."

He was careful to stipulate that it's not Christmas or even Christianity that is the issue, here, but the mingling of religion and government.

"It's not about attacking Christmas," he said, "it's about the mixing of religion and government, because that's a legitimate problem."

Eye 1

America the Vulgar

Whatever happened to the subtle thrill of real transgression?

mick jagger
© Redferns/Getty ImagesMick Jagger performs
"What's celebrity sex, Dad?" It was my 7-year-old son, who had been looking over my shoulder at my computer screen. He mispronounced "celebrity" but spoke the word "sex" as if he had been using it all his life. "Celebrity six," I said, abruptly closing my AOL screen. "It's a game famous people play in teams of three," I said, as I ushered him out of my office and downstairs into what I assumed was the safety of the living room.

No such luck. His 3-year-old sister had gotten her precocious little hands on my wife's iPhone as it was charging on a table next to the sofa. By randomly tapping icons on the screen, she had conjured up an image of Beyoncé barely clad in black leather, caught in a suggestive pose that I hoped would suggest nothing at all to her or her brother.

And so it went on this typical weekend. The eff-word popped out of TV programs we thought were friendly enough to have on while the children played in the next room. Ads depicting all but naked couples beckoned to them from the mainstream magazines scattered around the house. The kids peered over my shoulder as I perused my email inbox, their curiosity piqued by the endless stream of solicitations having to do with one aspect or another of sex, sex, sex!

When did the culture become so coarse? It's a question that quickly gets you branded as either an unsophisticated rube or some angry culture warrior. But I swear on my hard drive that I'm neither. My favorite movie is "Last Tango in Paris." I agree (on a theoretical level) with the notorious rake James Goldsmith, who said that when a man marries his mistress, he creates a job vacancy. I once thought of writing a book-length homage to the eff-word in American culture, the apotheosis of which was probably Sir Ben Kingsley pronouncing it with several syllables in an episode of "The Sopranos."

Today, our cultural norms are driven in large part by technology...
Not exactly. Our cultural norms are driven by psychopaths and other character-disordered individuals whose abuse of technology amplifies the ponerization of society from the top down.

Eye 1

Newlywed couple found murder victim on Craigslist, police say

© Mike Staugaitis / APMiranda K. Barbour is led to a district judge's office on Tuesday.
Sunbury, Pennsylvania - A couple married for just three weeks lured a man to his death with a Craigslist ad because they wanted to kill someone together, police said.

Elytte Barbour told officers before his arrest Friday night that he and his wife, Miranda, had planned to kill before, but their plans never worked out until last month when Troy LaFerrara responded to an online posting that promised companionship in return for money, authorities said.

Elytte Barbour told investigators "that they committed the murder because they just wanted to murder someone together," police said in the affidavit.

Elytte Barbour, 22, and Miranda Barbour, 18, face criminal homicide charges in LaFerrara's death. His body was found Nov. 12 in an alley in Sunbury, a small city about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The couple had recently moved to nearby Selinsgrove from Dunn, N.C.

Comment: Conversation that potentially leads to murder is not 'delightful', except perhaps to psychopaths and predators.

Arrow Down

Rare riot breaks out on Singapore streets

Singapore Riots
© Agence France-PresseTwo police cars flipped to their sides remain in the street after a riot broke out in Singapore.
A rare riot broke out in Singapore's Little India neighbourhood last night, apparently after a Bangladeshi worker was hit and killed by a bus, a local television channel reported.

Channel News Asia showed dramatic pictures of burning vehicles and people attacking the windshield of a bus with sticks and garbage bins. It was not clear if anyone was injured in the rioting that began late in the evening.

Such violence is unheard of in Singapore, an orderly and modern city-state known for strict punishments and generally law-abiding citizens.


Violent rapist jailed after court of appeal quashes acquittal

british rapist
© Derbyshire police/PAHarbinder has been has been jailed after a landmark legal ruling in which his original acquittal for the offence was quashed by the court of appeal
Harbinder Khatkaris attacked six women in February - less than six weeks after a jury acquitted him of earlier rape

A violent rapist has been jailed for life after a landmark legal ruling in which his original acquittal for the offence was quashed by the court of appeal.

Harbinder Khatkar, from Derby, has been ordered to serve at least 14 years after being convicted of offences committed in December 2011 and February 2013.

The 37-year-old attacked six women on 2 February this year - less than six weeks after a jury acquitted him of an earlier rape in which he forced his way into the victim's home.

Alarm Clock

U.S. federal prison population has grown 27 percent in 10 years

u.s. prison
© AP
The number of federal prison inmates has grown 27 percent in the last decade, according the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In a report examining the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) budget, the GAO found that prison population is rising:
The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is responsible for the custody and care of over 219,000 federal inmates - a population that has grown by 27 percent over the past decade. BOP is composed of 119 institutions, 6 regional offices, 2 staff training centers, 22 residential reentry management offices (previously called community corrections offices), and a central office in Washington, D.C. With a fiscal year 2013 operating budget of about $6.5 billion - the second-largest budget within DOJ - BOP projects that its costs will increase as the federal prison population grows through 2018. [...]

A variety of factors contribute to the size of BOP's population. These include national crime levels, law enforcement policies, and federal sentencing laws, all of which are beyond BOP's control.

Comment: See also:

Gulag! America has more prisoners than high school teachers and engineers

U.S. prison population seeing "unprecedented increase"