Obama plays with fire, &c.


In case you think the Sandinistas have turned nice ’n democratic, think again: “A Nicaraguan newspaper said Saturday that one of its reporters has fled to the United States following what she described as threats from supporters of the ruling Sandinista party.” I am quoting from this dispatch.

The reporter, Silvia González, had been investigating the death of one of the Sandinistas’ opponents. In Miami, she said, “I am afraid that they will kill me” — “they” being the Sandinistas. “And that is why I left.”

I’m glad she’s here. Does principle demand that we deport her? No principle worth subscribing to.

In this column, I have written many times about the Communist goons in Cuba who commit actos de repudio — acts of intimidation and worse at the homes of democrats and other independent thinkers.

This AP report begins, “A raucous pro-government crowd shouting insults and slogans blocked a group of Cuban dissidents from launching a protest march in Havana on Saturday.” I’m not sure the phrase “raucous pro-government crowd” quite covers it. I have seen photos and videos of these howling, violent mobs. And I have seen other reports on this particular day.

But I greatly appreciate that the AP is covering these events at all. It used to be, you heard about them only from democracy groups in Florida, despised by our mainstream media.

Remember and bless the name Laura Pollán. She is one of the “Ladies in White,” and it was her home that was the most recent target. A phenomenally brave woman, Laura Pollán.

By the way, the mob shouted that Pollán and the other ladies were gusanos, worms. This is the word that has always been applied to opponents of the Castro dictatorship. I learned the word in Ann Arbor, Mich., where I grew up. The Left used it with a prideful sneer, against the democrats. I didn’t know it meant “worms” until later.

For a report on Saturday from the Coalition of Cuban-American Women, go here.

Think Lech Walesa is great? You are right. Here he is visiting General Jaruzelski, once the Soviets’ proxy dictator in Poland, in the hospital.

I winced on seeing this headline: “Living people to appear on US stamps.” The article began, “For the first time, living people will be eligible to be honored on U.S. postage stamps.” It continued, “The U.S. Postal Service announced Monday that it is ending its longstanding rule that stamps cannot feature people who are still alive and it’s asking the public to offer suggestions on who should be first.”

I think this is a terrible development. Is it because of a stubborn conservatism within (within me, that is)? I can’t quite put my finger on it. My business is to articulate. Here, I fail.

It may have to do with this: Passions and popularity pass. The honor of a U.S. postage stamp should not be subject to temporary passions and popularity. Does that make any sense?

Must think more, before typing . . .

“The culture is a sewer,” Mark Helprin once said to me. I often have occasion to think of this, and quote this. I saw a headline: “Couple from ‘16 and Pregnant’ arrested in Arkansas.” (Article here.) The next headline was “Ted Haggard to appear on wife swap television show.” (Article here.)

These shows aren’t harmless. They not only reflect our culture, they drive it. They drag us all down, down.

Seeing this gave me a lift: “Europe’s Laura Davies overtook Annika Sorenstam to become the all-time Solheim Cup record points scorer at Killeen Castle on Saturday.” I thought, Laura Davies is still playing? I first saw her in the 1980s. What a golfer.

I have a memory — poignant thing. She was playing in the U.S. Open, and it was about a million degrees. And humid. She was wearing a light, white sweater — baggy. I thought she might have been trying to cover her girth a little. I just ached for her. Rooted for her hard.

I believe she won that weekend. New Jersey.

In my Monday Impromptus, I cited this article by Walt Harrington, in The American Scholar. A stunning, magnificent thing — about Bush 43, principally. I said I would say more about this article in my next column. But I’m going to wait till the next, if you don’t mind — one more item, and then out.

For some reason — can’t remember why now — a reader mentioned Parley Baer to me in a letter. I had never heard of him. He was a character actor, who lived from 1914 to 2002. I looked him up in Wikipedia. I just loved this:

“In 1946, he met and married circus aerialist and bareback rider Ernestine Clarke. They were together for 54 years . . .”

So American, and so wonderful. See you!