Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jarrett Barrios Visits the Motherland

Apologies to my readers who are sick of me blogging about anything Massachusetts-related. But, as they say, old habits die hard.

Massachusetts State Senator, and hypocritical, gun-grabber extraordinarire, Jarrett Barrios has been writing on his blog over the past few days about his trip to the worker's paradise of Cuba. I tried posting comments over there, but it seems I've been blacklisted.

Whatever. I'll take that as a compliment.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from his latest:

When we reached the rear of the house, I was amazed to see no fewer than 40 children eating a mid-day meal at tiny tables, laughing and chatting (I am always amazed when speaking Spanish with a Cuban child how expansive their vocabulary is; a literacy rate higher than many parts of the United States and a society that values conversation over television encourage help develop this).

Hmmm...a society that values conversation over television?

Like that's a tough choice. Engaging in conversation around the dinner table where one is free to exchange ideas amongst one's friends, or watching state-controlled television, where you're exposed to only those programs your friendly neighborhood communist dictator deems appropriate.


Choose the more preferable of the two scenarios below.

(A) Having the freedom to think, act, and speak, in accordance with one's personal value system, out from under the watchful and "protective" eye of the government.


(B) Being indoctrinated to think and behave in a certain manner by a communist, dictatorial ruler who controls all television broadcasts, print media, and news reporting in one's country.

Of course, that's six of one, half-dozen of another to a true "progressive" liberal who sees big government as being all-knowing, all-capable, and all-compassionate.

Now, let's take a look at his literacy rate talking point (a personal favorite of Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, and the rest of the Castro cheerleading squad):

Note, if you will, his careful phrasing of that sentence, where he states that Cuba has "a literacy rate higher than many parts of the United States".

How many is "many", I have to ask?

2,146 school districts?

189 cities and towns?

23 out of 50 states?

Because, according to the 2005 United Nations Development Programme Report, the literacy rate in the United States, taken as a whole is (slightly) higher than that in Fidel's state-controlled, educational Utopia.

To claim the literacy rate there is higher than "many parts" of the US is completely meaningless and devoid of any real context.

Not only does the word "many" not necessarily imply "most", in this case, I'd say it's safe to assume that it means just the opposite. If not, Barrios would have chosen his words differently to reflect that statistical reality.

He's not stupid.

He knows, full well, that by phrasing that statement more accurately to say, "a literacy rate lower than most parts of the United States", he'd be less likely to warm up the uneducated masses here at home to the concept of mandatory taxpayer-funded, and state-controlled __________.

(insert "education" in the blank for this particular example)

It's nothing more than selective wordplay, typically employed by deceitful, scumbag politicians to sway public opinion and to confuse those who don't know any better (AKA: Standard Operating Procedure for Barrios' kind). Can you say "assault weapons ban"?

Further, Senator Barrios, if you really wanted to highlight the educational values of the Cuban people and their government, why not make the comparison using the literacy rate of Muslim nations the world over?

Granted, that wouldn't do much to unfairly criticize and demean the United States of America, but surely, that wasn't your intent, Jarrett, was it? Was it?

Regardless, of what Jarrett Barrios personal feelings toward Fidel Castro and his "enlightened" governmental policies may or may not be, I've got one last thing to say on this topic.

Speaking as the father of two kids who are just starting to learn to read, I would much rather have my kids struggle, while trying to read and actually understand the Bill of Rights, than have them effortlessly breeze through all the big words in the Communist Manifesto and follow them without question.

But, I'm funny that way.