Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Black Friday online sales hit record high, up over 20% from last year. The percentage bought on mobile devices was up by 33%. (Business Insider)
◆ Critical insights on Fidel Castro and communist Cuba
- Elliott Abrams (Council on Foreign Relations)
- My friend, Ed Vidal, who fled Cuba as a child: “My most distinctive memory of Castro was when I left Cuba on May 4, 1966, and the security guards ripped open my baseball glove, thinking that there were precious gems inside that we were smuggling out. The real gems were the human capital of my family, which we took out and enjoyed in the freedom of America, even though I never made it to the big leagues.”
- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of Castro’s harshest critics in Congress, gives her views here.
- Daniel J. Mitchell’s libertarian blog has gathered the disgraceful “praise for a Communist Murder from a Rogue’s Gallery of Politicians,” such as the President of Ireland (“I have learned with great sadness . . . “), Jimmy Carter (“We remember fondly . . .”), British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (“From building a world class health and education system . . . “), and more. Pres. Obama offered his condolences to Cuba without saying anything positive or negative. (Daniel Mitchell blog, International Liberty)
- By contrast, Trump immediately tweeted, “Castro is Dead!” A bit later, he issued a more complete statement:
Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.
While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.–Statement of Pres-elect Trump
◆ Nobody at Rolling Stone would know his name, but Cliff Barrows probably sang to more people in concert stadiums than Paul McCartney, Madonna, or the Boss–maybe all of them combined. For over 70 years, he was the musical voice of every Bill Graham Crusade. An ordained Baptist minister, he managed the programs, led the crowds in singing hymns, and helped make Graham’s Crusades the most successful evangelism of mid-century America. Cliff Barrows has died at his Pineville, North Carolina home, aged 93. His obituary is here, in the Charlotte Observer.
On Friday, Erdogan threatened to throw open the Turkish border with Bulgaria — and thus the rest of Europe — to the 3 million-plus Syrian refugees being housed in camps in Turkey if the EU halted the accession process. –UPI
◆ Related story: Turkey detains BBC journalist reporting on mine disaster (The Guardian)
Comment: China’s heavy military spending and Trump’s trade demands add even more pressure.
Comment: The whole premise of Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal was to mute their expansionist, malevolent policies. Not working.
◆ Today in goofy regulations:
According to Reuters, British regulators have banned “a Heinz television advert showing people drumming a rhythm on its baked bean cans . . . on safety grounds. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that Heinz’s “Can Song” advert should not be broadcast again in its current form after nine people complained that the ad encouraged unsafe practices or could be dangerous for children to copy.” (Reuters in the Daily Mail)
Comment: News flash for regulators: the worst sound to come out of baked beans is not rhythmic drumming.
♥ Hat Tip for helpful suggestions:
◆ Bob Lieber for the Elliott Abrams article on Castro
◆ Ed Vidal for his memories of Castro
◆ Tom Elia for the Daniel Mitchell blog
◆ Blake Fleisher for news about Iranian naval ambitions