The Los Angeles Times reports that Cuba has launched its own version of wikipedia, an online encyclopedia called EcuRed.

The site is in Spanish. I don’t know Spanish—I barely know English—so I am here even more constrained from commenting knowledgeably than is generally the case. But I do know something about the ‘Murican wiki, and the lofty condescension of the Times piece is sufficiently irritating so that I feel moved to grouse about it.

The Times notes that EduRed “is to be edited by individual users, but articles would have to be approved by unidentified moderators.”

And this is different from wikipedia how? It is true that pretty much any old drunk can weave onto wikipedia and there spew forth whatever might tumble from the brainpan. But it is equally true that at some point some unidentified moderator will shuffle on by to spoon the spew into one or more of the conventional wiki molds. Or wipe the thing clean.

The Times further states that “cached versions of some pages in a Google search had the communist government’s official biases on display.”

And this is different from wikipedia how? An “official bias” towards the mandarins of the American government is “on display” to anyone who peruses the dream world of wikipedia’s entries on Ronald and Nancy Reagan. I have mentioned here before that I used to eavesdrop a little on the efforts of people to insert material that I produced into the wikipedia entries on Ronald and Nancy Reagan. This material, however, has been consistently rejected by “unidentified moderators.” Even though it’s all true.

The Times informs us that on EcuRed “Fidel Castro is described as the ‘historical leader of the Cuban Revolution’ in a lengthy entry.”

What, like that isn’t true? Or that wikipedia doesn’t pour forth lengthy entries which describe people like George Washington as the “historical leader of the American Revolution,” while undervaluing the role of people like Thomas Paine and James Otis?

The Times glowers darkly about EcuRed’s entry on the United States, which reads, in part:

The United States of America, recognized as the empire of our times, is the most powerful nation in all of history. Emerging as an independent nation in 1776, it has reached notable economic, scientific, and military development. It is historically characterized by stripping by force the territory and natural resources of other nations and countries in order to place them in the service of its companies and monopolies. It consumes 25% of the energy produced on the planet, and despite its wealth more than a third of its population does not have guaranteed medical care.

Well, folks like Runt Limprod and Sean Klannity would certainly agree that America “is the most powerful nation in all of history,” and “has reached notable economic, scientific, and military development.” As for the rest, it is a portrayal certainly closer to objective reality than the dreamland daily conjured by those characters.

The Times notes soberly that “[n]o entry was yet available however on the ‘Ladies in White,’ the anti-regime protest movement that emerged on the island this year, composed of the wives and mothers of jailed dissidents.”

There are several American protest movements in which I have been personally involved for which on wikipedia “no entry is yet available.” Is this evidence of a Plot? ; (

Too, people I know personally are vandalized on wikipedia, transformed there into beings unrecognizable to me.

The Times breathlessly informs us that “Internet use among Cuban citizens remains closely monitored and controlled by the government.”

And my radio today was howling that the Obama administration is clamoring for an “internet bill of rights” that would enable the government to intervene in intertubes affairs, in order to patrol the penchant of internet entities for ensnaring users in more chains than weighed down Jacob Marley, when he shuffled off this mortal coil in A Christmas Carol. Meanwhile, we have this madness, where the Air Force has installed content blocks, and hundreds of thousands of other government employees have been Ordered on pain of Banishment to Avert Their Eyes, all so as to avoid wikileaks entries that are freely available to anyone with a tube, and that would actually be useful for these people to better perform their jobs.

C’mon, Times people. It’s not like it’s all that different from here, there 90 miles south of The Keys. Everything, still, is everything.

Which is why this heavy-breathing is likewise pretty much nonsense. There occurs official government Whining that other nations refuse to treat Cuba like the uber-boogeyman the US persists in pretending that it is.

Sure, some unpalatable people, places, and things exist in Cuba. But, so far as I know, no one there has, say, recently been boiled in oil, unlike in other nations where George II could be found comfortably snuggled under the covers. For that matter, contemporary Cuba would probably have to travel some to match this or this or this or this or this or this or this or this or this. And so long as the retroverts in the lame-duck Congress cannot even control themselves from approving a pre-Magna Carta piece of legislation like this Cro-Magnon command, that the War on Terra prisoners in the Guantanamo gulag be prevented from coming up to the states to be tried like actual human beings in actual criminal courts, folks in the US might want to moderate some their yappity-yapping about how Bigly Badly everything is down there in Castroland.

Give it a rest. Chances are, you’ll get your McDonalds and your monster trucks and your mafia in there one of these days. Just a matter of time.

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When I Worked

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