Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Cuban Constitution

A Cuban Constitution

Forging a new Cuban Constitution is a wonderfully positive idea. Being against something has always been a “devil’s advocate” human trait but it is not enough. An alternative approach to any problem must be given. Our problem has been for 47 years the current Cuban government has employed “gulaganomics” to run the nation – into the ground. Gulaganomics operates like many animal species that use a hierarchy system. Basically, the top dogs are well fed and they are the only ones who get laid regularly. This is fine for a pack of wolves in that it permits the leader with the strongest genes to pass them on and enhance the survival chances of the species. But to force a nation of intelligent humans to sacrifice their time, body and money to this thing roughly known as “the revolution” is barbaric. There is nothing revolutionary about gulaganomics. In fact, the last two remaining countries that employ pure gulaganomics are Cuba and North Korea – an island and a peninsula with barbed wire north and south. Without these barriers the people would flee. So when this Constitution is written it should virtually ban all of the techniques now used on the Cuban people by their own government. Please permit me to give some additional suggestions.

The history of the earth’s civilizations has been a laboratory from which we should draw upon to write this Constitution. We must intelligently codify the good and ensure these things happen and outlaw the bad. One danger point that has plagued the US Constitution is the current politicos believe they need to reinterpret this document or give old words new meanings. It is vitally important that words have a meaning that is set into stone and whose meaning cannot be changed in the future by other tyrants to gain advantage over the people ever again. So we require a strong preamble that defines all key words of the document complete with a glossary of terms so there can be no doubt of our intent or meaning now or in a thousand years or more. This document should define the rights and responsibility of the people; the restrictions and responsibilities of the government as well as its structure and a method for amendments in the future.

For a government structure I would look no farther than Switzerland and their Canton structure. This allows for each village to develop and advance in its own way and leaves the federal government with the responsibilities of the overall nation like coordinating defense, issuing money, border controls, etc. To fund this government a land value tax would be assessed by the local Cuban Canton, about half of which would remain with the local government to fund it, thirty percent to the Provincial Government to fund that level of government to maintain the frontiers between the towns and the remaining twenty percent sent to the Federal Government to fund it. Naturally the provincial and local cantons should also be allowed to tax vice, resource depletion, pollution output, tourism, etc. but not houses, investments, money, labor, sales, imports, exports or generally speaking – governments must be banned from taxing good things that humans require to live a decent life. Rather, tax the bad as a way to compensate society for the damage that vice always causes to some degree or another. Cuban gentlemen may wish to puff on a fine cigar but it should be taxed at a level to compensate for the cancer that’s sure to arise

As for the “Rights” of the people the first must be the Right to Life. Certainly no law should be allowed that would cause anyone to sacrifice their life involuntarily. One sticky area has been abortion in that it does take a life. Still we all know the results of banning abortion and none of them are good. So while I believe we need to create a society where abortion is unnecessary, I also feel that the right to life should include ownership of one’s own body which of course extends to a woman’s ovaries. Government should have no control over the ovaries or any reproductive decisions other than enforcing parenthood rights and responsibilities in court. Additionally, it must include the right to own one’s body which means that you can do as you feel with it in private as long as you do not infringe on another’s right to do likewise. Lastly on this Right to Life are state executions. The difference between the death penalty and genocide is just a question of numbers. 20th Century governments killed hundreds of millions of people for a number of ridiculous reasons. It historically is safer and less costly in the long run to have life imprisonment for the worst offenders. That is a sign of an advanced, hopeful society.

The Right to Free Speech is the next most important human need. This Right should include non-threatening, oral speech, written words, Internet speech or depictions, private adult sexual entertainment, homesteading of TV and radio frequencies to broadcast anything the market will tolerate, paintings and computer graphics, any idea or thought, religious beliefs and ceremonies and basically any conceptual thoughts not used for fraud, violence to another or that would infringe on another’s Rights. The government should have no right to restrict or promote religion. The individual must be permitted to believe anything, write anything and do anyway with the only responsibility being that it may not be based on fraud, violence to another and in some cases personal behavior may be restricted by the local Canton to private space only depending on community standards.

The right to Self-defense also includes a responsibility for national defense but that responsibility must remain a voluntary commitment. Cuba has no needs for offensive war capabilities and all military expenditures of this nature should be banned unless some future unforeseen emergency occurs causing this to be amended. Again, look to 500 year-old Switzerland. Every man is considered a member of the militia and can arm himself accordingly even with automatic weapons. Cubans must have to same rights because it is the most effective protection against threats internal and external. Of course this can only work in a free, prosperous nation civilized by the family structure that has worked for millions of years

Towards that end I come to the Right to Primary Education. The Right to Primary Education must include a prohibition on state and school. Examples of the oxymoron “government education,” Cuba being one of the worst of them, are all bad and declining rapidly while costing more and more money. Education must be the responsibility of the family, church and private organizations who also must be the responsible parties for funding education. Free education simply costs too much in a number of negative ways. It is the first weapon of choice of the tyrant to solidify control over a nation. Check your history. However, if Canton, Provincial or Federal government wanted to advance higher university education it should be decided by the voters to what extent that should be.

Individuals brought up on criminal or civil charges with a penalty greater that the average half day’s wages must be offered a trial by jury. This jury, in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, sits in judgment not only of the evidence against the accused but also the law itself and how it is being implemented. And if their conscience warrants it they may nullify the law in that case by ruling innocent for the accused. The judge would have limited and delineated responsibilities and could not bar evidence. If the prosecution believed evidence was immaterial to the case used only to delay the process he would need to convince the jury of this upon rebuttal from the Defense council. Thomas Jefferson said, "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." Again history is on my argument’s side. The accused should be given all of the other tradition common English law rights like facing his accuser, right to council, etc. In addition defendants should not be forced to testify against themselves. Cubans should be free to live and move about unmolested by government agents. No search can be accepted without a warrant by a judge giving specific items and charges that must be true to the best knowledge of the charging authorities. Officials abusing the warrant procedure should face severe sanctions. Except during emergencies government should not be allow to force its way onto private property.

The Right to Vote must be inalienable even for criminals. Voting should start at 16 years of age for the local Canton government and 18 for Provincial and Federal. To get on the ballot a bond should be required (set by the particular government level) which would be forfeited if say perhaps the candidate didn’t receive 10 % of the vote or more. The bond would go up or down if the number of candidates was more or less than 7 per office as a way to eliminate frivolous campaigns. Also, Instant Run-off should be mandated for all three government levels. The way that works is you assign your top pick as your first choice and if no candidate reaches 51% then your number one pick is thrown out if he wasn’t one of the top three vote getters and your second choice instantly kicks in. Usually the winner is decided in 2 or 3 rounds at most. This electoral system is a great feedback mechanism for good government. Finally, money must not be restricted by government. This is a form of free speech so, while it is wise to have openness individuals should be allowed to donate as much as they choose to candidates they support.

The above rights I feel are the rights of paramount importance and should be addressed in a Constitution. Still measures for Amendments and many more specific restrictions on the power of government as well as their responsibilities are needed to promote a just,wealthy society. I look forward to forwarding that end.

Tomás Estrada-Palma

Wednesday, October 18, 2006



Please allow me to explain something very basic about economics that is widely misunderstood. Currently, in both capitalist and communist societies, the belief is held that the wealth pool available to pay workers is finite. Therefore, the fear is that if we let too many people in then they will gobble up all of the stuff that we need with which to live. But this thinking is feeble. Here is why.

A 5 pound gold nugget is nothing but a rock, a potato plant might as well be a weed and the wood from a tree mere termite lunch. It is only the hand of men working these items of the land that changes them into wealth which possess exchangeable value to humans. Chronologically speaking, first comes the labor then the miracle of wealth. Thus, the more hands that are working the greater the pool of wealth created. But why does it appear whenever populations increase that poverty then shows up?

Mostly it is due to urban land hoarding by the Real Estate speculator/banker class who create no wealth with their land holdings. Instead they charge in effect a land rental fee which moves wealth generally from poorer hands into richer hands. Those living on the margins economically don’t stand a chance. This is why a hundred thousand years ago all cavemen were fed and sheltered (minus war and natural famines) while modern societies have homeless beggars in the streets lurking desperately everywhere. The reason is cavemen had a free cave to keep their stuff in while modern man must rent his cave and fork over larger and larger shares of his wealth for the privilege. The speculators drive up home prices by hoarding land, the average joe-six-pack takes out a mortgage to pay for his house, then the bottom falls out of the market forcing many out of their homes through foreclosure. Those who survive the downturn still must pay the bank for the full inflated home loan for a house that may be worth half the cost of the note. The banker/speculator gets lots of properties back from the poorest owners and they can sit on them or rent them out till the price is right. Once they have driven the Real Estate back up to its boom phase they sell locking in new high mortgages making a killing and what in the past has been referred to as “the business cycle” begins again. But this whole setup remember creates no wealth.

Which brings me to the real reason for this discussion. Namely, what is the excuse for returning Cubans caught on the high seas back to Castro’s island gulag? Every set of new Cuban hands arriving to our shores are very efficient wealth creating machines. Historically speaking, Cubans don’t cross 90 miles of treacherous waters to sit around and go on welfare. In fact, no one ever need go on welfare again if we just stopped this land monopoly scam. Everybody needs a cave to keep their stuff in. Then even the least educated could survive. We have incredible numbers of dead public housing projects that should just be turned over to the poorest among us so they don’t just crumble away. If the only tax we paid was a location value tax for our land holdings and not the housing itself or income or sales tax, then land hoarding would not be economically practical.

Cubans widely support Bush and Republicans in Congress but why? They and the Democrats support this policy of the US government being an extension of Castro’s penal colony. Now that you understand the economics of it you quite clearly see that this is an abomination and must be stopped immediately! Are you Cubans really planning on voting for anyone who supports this tyranny in next month’s election? Please post the names of the politicians in your district who support rejailing Cubans caught on the high seas.

Thank you,

Tomás Estrada-Palma

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Limp Cuban Economics

Limp Cuban Economics

Talk all you want about the embargo but that isn’t why Cubans are so poor. It is due to Limp Communist Economic Policy that cannot “stand-up” to “stiff” world competition. More and more, the rest of the intelligent world has realized that you permit the people a good deal of freedom to create their own wealth and they will provide for themselves – and a number of others as well.

With communism, where’s the beef? Why are Cuban islanders so unproductive? Why is there always premature speculation of adequate output? First, it doesn’t pay – at least not to they that actually does the workin’. Plus the workers are always waiting in a snaking line for free government give-away stuff that is usually not available anyway unless you have political connections. Also, Cuba’s credit virility is impotent at best so supplies are unavailable whether or not there was an embargo. This level of pencil pecker performance economically speaking, is laughable for a macho Latin nation. It is embarrassing. Castro has been caught with his pants down with this one but don't worry – it’s no big deal.

Hopefully, Cubans are going to get tired of getting short-dicked by the Havanaban like this and take matters into their own hands. Anyone should see that it is not civilized for a people to be jerked around like this with their needs left so unfulfilled. Cubans don’t need more pillow-talk promises of glory. They require hard decisions to be made to put some starch into their economic shorts.

Tomás Estrada-Palma

Monday, October 16, 2006

Journalist Harassmented in Cuba

Journalist Harassment in Cuba

Says U.S. State Department

According to a report by a human rights official for the Organization of American States (OAS) "...independent journalists in Cuba were 'arbitrarily and repeatedly imprisoned, and were physically attacked and threatened by agents' of the Cuban government."

The only real difference between the Talaban and the Havanaban is the Talaban was proud of their evil and showed it daily. The Havanaban, on the other hand, are ashamed of themselves and cover up their evil. Just because the pain of torture and false imprisonment are not witnessed by the outside world - they nonetheless occur in Cuba DAILY! Wake up world and demand that those evil people free the noble saints that have been sent to Castro's gulags just for speaking the truth. If you don't stand up for them now then don't cry when no one is left to stand up for YOU when it is your turn.

Tomás Estrada-Palma

When Tyrants Die

When Tyrants Die

What happens when a tyrant like Fidel dies? What happens when absolute power dies? First there is a political vacuum – a condition that cannot exist with mankind at its current level of social advancement. What you do not see is occurring even as I write these words. The top political leadership, civilian and military, are jockeying for position. But this is no regular horserace. In this race you can shoot the jockey behind, next to or in front of you to aide your chances of winning. In the case of Cuba add to this competition hatred and old scores to settle and you have a very chaotic mix.

Another way to enhance your chances of rising to the top position is to work with the US. Cuba is going to be very short on basic necessities like gasoline very soon. A general who played his cards right could have a strategic advantage if his forces were supplied with food, gasoline and satellite reconnaissance by the US. This is especially true with military leadership being helped by the US who could covertly enforce a “no fly zone” while the conflict ensues as well as neutralizing hostile naval forces.

The questions are what, how and when will this situation be resolved? Who can say for sure? Only the winner in this competition may have a vague notion at this point. But probably it will occur soon after Fidel’s death which means in the coming weeks. Perhaps Cubans will have the Christmas present this year that we all have been waiting for. Pray this will be so and maybe it will. What will pass after he passes is not certain at this point but I doubt it will result in a President Raul. He is too sick and old with a sickly wife as well and no charisma. He may very well leave Cuba when big brother dies further deepening the vacuum. The top leadership has already said the Raul’s stewardship of the nation is only “temporary.” Surely anyone taking the top spot faces a daunting task of leading the nation if they plan on the continued use of central planning. Instead, let’s pray that a white horse emerges who realizes that Cuba has been hijacked by pirates. God, this Christmas I only want one gift. If you give me this gift I will never need another present as long as I live. Por favor, Cuba libre.

Tomás Estrada-Palma