Fidel's Millions and Streisand's Lawn | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Fidel’s Millions and Streisand’s Lawn
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A more vivid, quite literal illustration of how socialism and the liberal-mindset works would be hard to find. 

Illustration one: the California drought. As reported here in the New York Post, California is “withering” in a drought. Reports the paper: 

Experts predict California reservoirs have less than a year’s worth of drinking water left. An emergency law passed last week forces local cities to conserve water immediately. The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which supplies many of these elite enclaves north of Los Angeles, will have four weeks starting next month to cut water use by a staggering 36 percent.

Among other things? Well, with so little water available then of course the first thing to go for most Californians is that patch of green known as a lawn. Unless, of course, you’re a rich celebrity liberal like, say, Barbra Streisand. In which case (and make sure to click on that NY Post link for an aerial shot of Ms. Streisand’s lawn surrounded mansion), well, water is no problem. The liberal diva’s law is as green as, well, grass. As the Post put it, updating from Marie Antoinette: “Let them eat dust.”

Streisand isn’t alone either, with the Post displaying several shots of celebrity homes in thirsty Southern California with strikingly green lawns clearly getting a good drink every day if not more than once a day.

Shift now to illustration number two: Cuba and the recent release of a new book by an escaped bodyguard of Fidel Castro. And what do we learn from Juan Reinaldo Sanchez? He the bodyguard who is now in the USA and but of course has a book called — shocker — The Double Life of Fidel Castro.

Yes indeed. The old leftist double standard on wealth is alive and well in the Socialist Caribbean Paradise that has been six decades of Fidel. The Post begins their excerpt of the book this way:

To Cubans, Fidel Castro presents himself as a man of the people, claiming to make only 900 pesos a month (about $38) and owning no property other than a modest “fisherman’s hut” somewhere on the coast.

In truth, El Jefe is worth hundreds of millions and owns 20 properties, including a chalet where he goes duck hunting every year and a private marina in the Bay of Pigs.

That marina is located on a little “jewel” of an island called Cayo Piedra, described as a “place of wild beauty worthy of Robinson Crusoe and (Fidel) decided to have it for his own. The lighthouse keeper was asked to leave the premises and the lighthouse was put out of action and later taken down.” Says the ex-bodyguard: “While ordinary Cubans suffered, this is where Castro would relax.” Puffing those famous Cuban cigars, drinking whisky, and tooling around in a private yacht called the “Aquarama II, decorated entirely in exotic wood imported from Angola, (which) had four engines from Soviet navy patrollers, a gift from Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.” Nothing that a few extra “hundreds of millions” can’t do to make life easier, yes?

Then there are all those stories about that famous anti-one percenter Hillary Clinton, she of the multiple houses and, by all the recent news accounts, with $100 million give or take in the family bank account. And don’t weep for that famous community organizer in today’s White House either. If Bill Clinton has accomplished nothing else with his ex-presidency he has shown Barack Obama how it can be done. Surely the Barack and Michelle Obama Community Organizing Foundation is already more than a glimmer somewhere. 

Not to put too fine a point on it? This is how the Left works. This is how socialism works. As noted back there in pre-Reagan 1976 by Hedrick Smith, the New York Timesman who covered Moscow and recorded his observations in a bestseller called The Russians, the leftist double-standard of elitist socialist privilege versus the workers poverty was well embedded into the system. When the Soviet Union was alive if not well, the working stiffs for whom Communism and socialism was allegedly invented had to take a back seat while the Communist elites lived a life softened by their country dachas, shiny black Zil limousines, and private stores far removed from country’s “chronic shortages” and well stocked with “rare Russian delicacies” like “caviar, smoked salmon, the best canned sturgeon, export brands of vodka or unusual vintages of Georgian and Moldavian wines, choice meat, fresh fruit and vegetables in winter that are rarely available elsewhere.”

What Smith was describing back there in the days when liberals believed they had seen-the- future-in-the-Soviet Union- and-it-worked is the inevitable Leftist double standard. The double-standard that is exhibited by the uber-liberal Streisand’s watered green lawn, Fidel and his hundreds of millions savored from his private isle and yes, the anti-one percent Clintons who have those Fidelish millions stashed away.

The real world effect of socialism/progressivism/liberalism is to make the masses poor and dependent — while a relative handful of elites, usually out of public view — live the high life of the privileged. In a situation like the Southern California drought the mentality that the rules don’t apply to liberal betters is vividly on display. Does everybody else have to stop watering their lawn because of a drought emergency? Too bad for the peasants, La Streisand is keeping the water spicket on. Are average Cubans denied the right to earn merely a good living much less a chance to buy their own private island? Who cares — Fidel has his. Not to mention the millions. Are the Clintons using her job as a magnet for crony contributions to the Clinton Foundation? Buzz off.

In a free and free-market society of opportunity the age old principles of work/save/invest can and do routinely lift the once-poor out of poverty. No party membership is required. They don’t have to be of a certain race or gender. They just have to be willing to work. 

Did Barbra Streisand work for what she has? Yes, indeed. She had a talent — a great talent — and she worked her buns off to make something of it. Alas somewhere over the years she has acquired that socialist sense of being owed — and that sniffy socialist belief that the rules her liberal friends (those running California in this case) require for everybody else don’t apply to her.

There is, sadly, nothing new here. It is the age old story of socialism/progressivism/liberalism at work. The routine is as simple as it is ageless. Divide people by class and race, convince the don’t-haves that somehow they have been robbed by the haves — and when the don’t-haves aren’t looking, take every last dime you can get out of manipulating the system for yourself and your friends.

Then buy yourself an island off of Cuba, light up a good Cuban cigar, pour a glass of fine whiskey, and sit on the fan tail of your yacht and laugh. 

Or if you’re a rich liberal celebrity in Southern California? Just turn on the sprinkler and let it rain.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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