Tag: blogging

Great New Blog in English by Cubans in Cuba

During the past several years, the growth of the Cuban dissident blogger movement has become a major irritant to the Cuban regime. Some bloggers, such as Yoani Sanchez, are becoming well known around the world. Her blog has even been available in English for a few years. I’ve written about her here and Cato published a recent paper by her.

The Cuban blogosphere is vibrant and diverse, but has been available almost exclusively in Spanish. Now, a new English blog site, Translating Cuba, is posting the thoughts of leading Cuban bloggers in Cuba, including Sanchez and recent hunger striker Guillermo Fariñas. Contributors to the site don’t share identical points of view, but they hope that “the voices on this site will mirror the free, open and plural society we all know that Cuba is ultimately destined to be.”

Help Kareem Now

We’ve written about the jailed Egyptian blogger known as Kareem before. Now the people who are working for his release are asking that people “flood the jail with mail” so that Kareem and his jailers will know that the world is watching. I hope you’ll take a moment to help.

Kareem attended a conference for Arabic liberal and libertarian bloggers and writers in 2006, when he was 21 years old. Within months he was arrested and sentenced. He has served more than 3/4 of a four-year sentence for writing about freedom, democracy, and women’s rights on his blog, and yet he still has not been released. He has suffered not only the loss of his freedom, but continuing abuse. It is important to let the Egyptian authorities know he is not forgotten. Please help by writing to him. And please follow the guidelines and not include anything incendiary or likely to lead to his being harmed further.

As Tom Palmer and Raja Kamal wrote in the Washington Post, “People should be free to express their opinions without fear of being imprisoned or killed. Blogging should not be a crime.”

In 2008 students at the first convention of Students for Liberty rallied for Kareem on the steps of Columbia University (at right). Others around the world, on the web and in person, have tried to keep a light shining on Kareem’s case. But it’s hard to maintain such a campaign for years, as the Egyptian authorities refuse to let this young man go. Don’t let them think that no one notices.

More details about the case can be found here.

Tufts Academic Gives Two Thumbs Down to Cheap Food

I suspect I may be falling into a publicity trap here, but nonetheless I am unable to resist blogging about an email I received this morning from the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University.  The email contained this teaser:

How does cheap food contribute to global hunger?  GDAE’s Timothy A. Wise, in this recent article in Resurgence magazine, explains the contradictory nature of food and agriculture under globalization. He refers to globalization as “the cheapening of everything” and concludes:

“Some things just shouldn’t be cheapened. The market is very good at establishing the value of many things but it is not a good substitute for human values. Societies need to determine their own human values, not let the market do it for them. There are some essential things, such as our land and the life-sustaining foods it can produce, that should not be cheapened.”

This sort of stuff could only be written by someone on full academic tenure and who has never had to worry about feeding his family.

It would take many hours to rebut all of the idiocies contained in the full article, but for now I will just say: Yes, it is true that U.S. government subsidies for corn, for example, cause environmental damage in the Gulf of Mexico (Cato scholars have in fact covered this before as part of our ongoing campaign to eliminate farm subsidies). And yes, poor farmers abroad have suffered because of government intervention in food markets. But those are problems stemming from government intervention, not the free market.

Monday Links

Wednesday Links

Summing Up Obama’s Health Care Address

Cato health care experts dissected President Obama’s address Wednesday night, providing live commentary throughout the speech.

Overall impressions:

Michael D. Tanner:  Can’t see this as a game-changer. I would give him an ‘A’ on delivery, but at best a ‘C’ on substance.   There were surprisingly few details and very little new.

Patrick Basham:  Strikingly political/partisan rather than statesmanlike speech. Obama chose to pressure Republicans to support his plan rather than attempt to persuade them to do so. He risks a another wave of (effective) opposition from conservative talk radio  & cable TV.

Michael F. Cannon:  Translation: My health plan cannot work if you are free to make your own decisions.

Cato Health Care Experts Live-Blogging Obama’s Address

Cato health care policy experts offered live-commentary to President Obama’s address to Congress on Wednesday night. To review their comments, click the replay button below.

The video player has the speech in full.

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