Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ninety years of (In)Fidel

The two major party presidential contenders are no spring chicken.  Senators who ought to have retired long ago continue to run and, even more bizarre is how they get re-elected; there are 25 current senators in DC who are at least 70 years old!  A quarter of the Senate!  I hope this guy, who has become highly unprincipled, is booted out even now--well before he becomes the next Strom Thurmond!

And then there is that one guy chomping away at his cigar:
Fidel Castro used the occasion of his 90th birthday to lash out once more against President Obama.
Wait a second.  Shouldn't he thank Obama for normalizing US relations with Cuba?  And how come thugs like Castro and Mugabe live such long lives?

What was Castro's gripe anyway?
"I believe that the United States' president's speech lacked stature when he visited Japan,” Castro wrote, “and it lacked an apology for the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in Hiroshima, in spite of the fact that they knew the effects of the bomb. The attack on Nagasaki was equally criminal, a city that the powerful chose at random. It's for that reason that I must hammer on the necessity of preserving peace, and that no power has the right to kill millions of human beings."
Wait a second.  How many people were killed by Castro and his people?  I tell ya, we live in a world in which the likes of Castro and Putin and Trump can say anything that pleases them.  As my grandmother used to say, "கேக்கறத்துக்கு ஆள் இல்லை" (roughly translating to "nobody to question")

Meanwhile, the post-modernist extraordinaire marked the occasion:
Castro received a congratulatory call from Russian President Vladimir Putin on his birthday, according to the Russian leader's office.
Of course!

So, is it senility, or ideological rigidity, that made Castro rant against Obama?  A Cuba specialist, Ted , thinks it is a lot more basic than those:
To Henken, Castro's aversion to Obama is transparent. "He doesn't like Obama because Obama has stolen his charismatic thunder," he said.
Obama has certainly stolen the charismatic thunder from quite a few people around the world.  I am going to miss him, even though I have had plenty of problems with many of his political decisions--especially about war and peace.


Ramesh said...

Fidel Castro I thought had faded away . He may not even have written that letter; somebody may have written it in his name.

I wonder why you keep electing the same Senators. At least for Congress, you can blame gerrymandering. But the Senate ? The whole state votes for such fossils , else they wouldn't get re elected. In this day and age, when age discrimination is rife in every sphere of life, its probably "reassuring" to us oldies (yes, I include you !) that we would be spring chicken in your Senate :)

Mike Hoth said...

I will probably miss President Obama as well, which is unfortunate seeing as I only ever voted against him!

Fidel Castro is kind of like the North Korean government. If he doesn't throw a fit for no real reason every few years, we'd forget he was even there. I'm sure there are plenty of people who heard about Fidel's rant and said "Wait, Fidel Castro is still alive? I thought he died or something."

Sriram Khé said...

Ramesh, as an outsider, you are way more fluent with American civics and government than most American citizens are. Every once in a while, during class discussions, I ask students teaser, conversational, questions, one of which is the number of senators at DC. I am always, always, shocked and saddened with the number of students who are unaware that every state has two senators--something they should have known even from their eight grade years :(
I have no powers, but, I grant you honorary American citizenship on this special day in India ;)

Mike, most Americans wouldn't know about Fidel. Heck, once you come west away from Florida and the Eastern seaboard, most Americans might not even know that Cuba is a mere metaphorical stone-throw away from Florida. I bet more Americans know about the latest entertainment celebrities than they do about Castro :(

Ramesh said...

I am truly honoured. Its not the official citizenship, but the acceptance and feeling of a good American that really counts.

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