Sunday, February 25, 2024

"Corpses of the drowned"

Stalin, Mao, Communism, and their 21st Century Aftermath in Russia and China

Dr. Miguel A. Faria, Jr.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing

2024

Review written by Robert A. Waters

"To choose one's victims, to prepare one's plans minutely, to slake an implacable vengeance, and then go to bed...there is nothing sweeter in the world." Joseph Stalin

In his far-sweeping book about communism, Dr. Miguel Faria, Jr. describes a hellish nightmare. Almost every page drips with the blood of victims, most unknown, but many high-ranking, or even famous. My thought at the end of the book was, who in his or her right mind would wish to live in such a society? And yet, many who thrive under freedom in today's world seem to have a yen for communistic-style governments.

So what is communism? Faria writes: "To paraphrase Mao Tse-tung, communism is the attainment of political power by the barrel of a gun and complete control of all services and the methods of production, distribution, and consumption of goods by the omnipotent state." 

The oppressors and killers who rule totalitarian dictatorships care nothing for the people they rule. Joseph Stalin, an unredeemable psychopath, murdered or caused the deaths of at least 20-40 million of his own people. Mao Tse-tung also killed 20-40 million. (These staggering numbers are low--there were likely millions more unknown victims.)

Because he murdered friends and enemies alike, as well as millions of anonymous souls caught in his web, Faria calls Stalin's reign the "meat grinder." This is an apt description. The author writes that "Stalin would use terror indiscriminately as a matter of course, not only against the civilian population but also most ominously and unflinchingly against his former comrades, and without sparing the families of political opponents (including his own)."

Nickolai Yezhov, chief executioner for Stalin, is an example of what happened when an insider knew more than he should. Yezhov was no innocent: he may have been responsible for a half-million torture-murders orchestrated by the Russian dictator. But he ended up being labeled a "traitor" by Stalin and was dispatched with a bullet to the brain.


Maria A. Spiridonova (pictured above) suffered for decades at the hands of both Lenin and Stalin. In 1918, she criticized the Bolsheviks, saying, "I accuse you of betraying the peasants, of making use of them for your own ends." Faria writes, "Spiridonova was persecuted for years, arrested, harshly interrogated, released, resentenced repeatedly, sent to various labor camps and settlements in the Gulag and in exile. Finally, she was executed in 1941."

Life was not pleasant for most Russians.

Faria writes that Russian "citizens died from privations, neglect, and mistreatment; of starvation from government-orchestrated famines; diseases due to malnutrition; and mass executions or a simple shot to the back of the head. They died in prisons, in their homes, during mass deportations, and from overwork and exposure while slaving away in the Gulag system of destructive labor camps."

Arthur Koestler, a former communist and author of the anti-communist book, Darkness At Noon, wrote: "I went to Communism as one goes to a spring of fresh water and I left Communism as one clambers out of a poisoned river strewn with the wreckage of flooded cities and corpses of the drowned."

Communism in Russia was a total and complete disaster for its people. Faria has covered it all. From the well-known overthrow and murders of former Tsarist government officials, to the Great Purges, to rounding up and assassinating almost all the old Bolsheviks, to Stalin's brutal war on intellectuals and Russia's Jewish population, to his deliberate starving of millions of Ukrainians, and much more...the list of victims continues through Faria's book. 

Years after communism in Russia failed, former President Boris Yeltsin said, "Our country has not been lucky...It was decided to carry out this Marxist experiment on us...It has simply pushed us off the path the world's civilized nations have taken...in the end, we proved that there is no place for this idea." (NOTE: my italics.)


Eastern-style communism under China's Mao Tse-tung was no better.

Faria writes that "Mao committed whatever crimes were necessary to attain and preserve supreme political power. For him, democracy, justice, equality, fraternity, and freedom were merely words to be used for propaganda purposes--not ideas to be pursued."

Anyone unfortunate enough to be born into a political system where one individual has complete power will be subjugated to the leader. That was true under Stalin, and true under Mao. Communism is an easy system for tyrants to manipulate. 

The research done by Faria is amazing. In Stalin, Mao, Communism, and their 21st Century Aftermath in Russia and China, the author quotes from numerous works about Russian and Chinese history. He has published more than a hundred high-quality photos of many of the players involved. He has tied together disparate parts of a massive jigsaw puzzle of events and framed them into a terrifying whole. With so much going on in secretive societies such as Russia and China, that's hard to do.  

After Mao won the Chinese civil war against President Chiang Kai-shek, he ruled as a ruthless dictator. Faria writes: "Tragically, the significant and historic events in communist China were not peaceful socio-economic advances, but militant initiatives begun by Chairman Mao to destroy the bourgeoisie, wipe out traditional mores, erase and rewrite Chinese history, and construct a fully self-sufficient communist state..."

Unfortunately, Mao's policies "only brought social upheaval and violence, economic disaster, devastation, suffering, and death."

Faria juxtaposes the former Chinese communist government with the current government. President Xi Jinping is slicker and craftier than Mao, but his goals remain much the same, i.e., domination of all who fall into his orbit.

Because of its historical significance, this book will find an audience. But will the modernists of our generation learn from the past? That, to me is the critical question.


If anyone has seen the true face of communism, it is Dr. Miguel A. Faria. He and his father barely escaped Fidel Castro's Cuba. He arrived in America and became a neurosurgeon. He has dedicated a vast portion of his life fighting to retain the freedoms we have in this country. Check out his website: https://haciendapublishing.com/

Thursday, February 15, 2024

"This type of violence will not be tolerated..."

Jugging Victim Paralyzed in Brutal Assault – Attacker shows no Remorse

By Robert A. Waters


Note: Jugging occurs when an individual withdraws cash from a bank or ATM and then that person is followed by a robber who attempts to steal the money, usually after the victim stops his or her automobile. Jugging has become common in many crime-ridden cities.


On the morning of February 13, 2023, forty-four-year-old Nhung Truong (pictured below) drove to the Bank of America on Blackhawk Boulevard in Houston, Texas. She withdrew $4,300 in cash, money she’d saved working at a nail salon for seven years. Truong planned to use the cash to fly her family back to Vietnam to visit relatives.

 


As she drove to the Belleair shopping center where she worked, the petite mother of three didn't realize she was being followed. Long-time criminals Zy’Nika Ayesha Woods, 19, and her boyfriend, Joseph Harrell, 17, trailed Troung for 24 miles.


After parking, Truong took the family's passports and the envelope with her money and walked toward her place of business.



A surveillance camera caught the robbery in living color.

At about 11:30 A.M., while Woods waited in the car, Harrell stalked his prey. He approached Truong as she walked down the sidewalk. Sensing that Harrell had invaded her space, Truong attempted to move out of his way, but he suddenly seized her around her waist and flung her against a wall. The items she carried, including the envelope with her money, flew from her hand and were strewn across the sidewalk. Truong then collapsed onto the concrete.


DailyMail reporter Lewis Pennock wrote: “In the video, the thief could be seen snatching an envelope that police believe he thought was Truong’s cash from her scattered belongings. He began to flee but then [turned] around and body slammed Truong to the ground and fled with the [envelope containing her] money.” 


The attack was over in seconds.


The city of Houston reeled in shock. It’s sometimes hard to ascertain why some cases go viral while others don’t, but this one had all the ingredients that terrorize people. An innocent victim and mother of three lay hospitalized with broken ribs and a fractured spine. Unable to walk, doctors opined that she might never make a full recovery. 


Harrell, already out on bond for a weapons charge, would later be charged with yet another robbery that occurred just days after this assault. In one of the dumb things criminals sometimes do, he posted a photo of himself on Tik Tok wearing the same distinctive shirt he wore during Troung’s assault.


A few weeks later, Harrell was identified and arrested. A judge initially set his bond at $200,000.


Authorities routinely record jailhouse telephone conversations, and the public got an earful from Harrell. “We was snatching purses,” he told a friend. “I snatched a purse. Basically when I snatched the purse the lady ran with the money. I grabbed her and slammed her and she’s paralyzed.” Harrell can be heard chuckling as he recounts the crime.


When the friend explained that Truong had received $230,000 from a “gofundme” page, Harrell brightened up even more. He opined that he shouldn’t be charged with any crime because the victim would now be okay.


But the victim would not be okay.


Houston Police Chief Troy Finner held a press conference and said, “This type of violence will not be tolerated in our city. It is just senseless. I just spoke to Ms. Troung…and assured her, and I want the city of Houston to stand behind us. These are very serious injuries. The recovery is very long. And I want her to know the love of our agency but also the great citizens in this city.”


Citizens did respond and raised more than $250,000 to help the injured woman pay her medical bills.


Then Houston's completely broken criminal justice system struck back against law-abiding citizens...again. Yet another Houston judge, this time a Republican, reduced Harrell’s bond by half. Judge Kristin Guiney reset his bond to $100,000. Fortunately for the Houston community, though, Harrell was still unable to make bond and get out of jail.


At trial, Harrell pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated robbery causing serious bodily injury. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Insiders familiar with the Texas justice system, however, say it’s likely he’ll be out in 15. (Watch out, Hustletown, when a fully matured and even meaner Joseph Harrell returns to your fair city.)


His accomplice, Ny’Nika Woods, pleaded guilty to a downgraded charge of robbery causing bodily injury. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.


Speaking in Vietnamese, Troung told reporters that “I’m feeling very horrible and sad at the same time. They don’t know when my leg can walk again. I need to practice, try to walk and stuff. I’m very sad that this happened to me and I just want to let other people know to be careful.”


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Crazed Killer Strikes Again in "Hustletown"

(Above is a photo of the McDonald's where Andrew Williams murdered Martha Medina. Also pictured is the convicted killer. It's hard to believe but Williams was out on bail after being arrested for a previous murder. He was even wearing an ankle monitor. The Medina family not only blames Williams, but also the judge who set bond for this violent career criminal.)

The Jugging Murder

By Robert A. Waters

On the morning of September 23, 2021, Martha Medina, 71, pulled up to a Chase Bank ATM in Houston, Texas and made a small cash withdrawal. She then drove to McDonald's at 430 Uvalde Road, parked near the entrance, and walked inside to purchase takeout breakfasts for her family. As she walked back to her car holding a bag of food and her purse, she had no idea she'd been followed from the bank by three career criminals. On the streets, they call it "jugging." 

Unlike Martha, a productive, well-respected member of her community, 41-year-old Andrew Williams had been a violent felon for most of his existence. In 2000, he spent time in the state prison for aggravated robbery. In 2014, Williams served time for fraud and feloniously using another person's identification. After being released, Williams ran down his girlfriend with his car but served little jail time.

And in 2019, he shot a bystander during an armed robbery, killing her. Doug Wylie wrote: "Williams...[was] involved in a 'drug deal gone bad' when Chima Ogbonnaya was shot in the back of the head and left for dead in a darkened, desolate parking lot." After Williams was arrested, the prosecutor urged 248th Criminal District Court Judge Hilary Unger to deny bond. However, the judge disagreed and soon the lifelong criminal was back on the streets of Houston, i.e., Hustletown. 

At the time he murdered Martha Medina, Williams wore an ankle monitor. This helped police seal their case against him.

On that fatal day in 2021, Williams followed Martha to McDonald's. Two accomplices, Lawrence "Dirty" Earl Thomas and Felton Fordallegedly assisted him. A police spokesperson said Thomas served as a lookout while Williams and Ford committed the robbery. Williams ran toward Medina as she was getting into her car. He quickly wrested her purse away and, in the scuffle, Medina fell to the ground. The robbers rushed back to the getaway car and climbed in. Williams, driving, sped through the McDonald's parking lot and ran over Medina, who was lying on the pavement.

Wylie wrote: "Williams waited for his victim to emerge from the eatery with take-out food in hand. Then, he began his assault with a strong-armed purse-snatching, got into his car, and during his attempted escape struck Medina, running her over and dragging her some distance beneath the vehicle."  

Bystanders attempted to give Medina aid, but she was pronounced dead when she arrived at a local hospital. 

The court recently convicted Williams of murdering Martha Medina and sentenced him to life in prison. (The other alleged suspects are awaiting trial.)

Judge Unger narrowly won reelection against Republican challenger Julian Ramirez. During her campaign, she made no bones about her beliefs. "Courts should find alternatives to incarceration with an eye towards rehabilitation," Unger wrote on her website.

It would have been an amazing transformation for Andrew Williams to go from a past riddled with drugs, violence and murder to becoming a model citizen. Elections mean something. If you don't believe it, look at this case. Had Ramirez been elected, he likely would not have let Andrew Williams bond out for murdering Ogbonnaya.

Martha Medina would likely be alive today.


Saturday, January 20, 2024

There's a $20,000 reward waiting if you can identify this killer

 
Teenage Girl Murdered in Road Rage Shooting

By Robert A. Waters

Do you know this man? $20,000 awaits you if you turn him in.

On Sunday morning, December 10, seventeen-year-old Louise Wilson (pictured below) was traveling from Whitney, Texas to Galveston. Two passengers, one in the front seat, the other in the back, traveled with her. On the Pierce Elevated on I-45 in Houston, she swerved to avoid a braking vehicle in front of her. In doing so, she accidently cut in front of another car.

The unidentified driver (pictured above) of the vehicle that was cut off sped up beside Louise and opened fire. After being shot through the heart, the teenager heroically pulled her car to the side of the road, avoiding an accident. However, she died at the scene. A passenger, also shot, survived.

Louise, much-loved, had just graduated from high school. Her father addressed the media. "To my daughter's killer," he said, "I want to say that you're a coward. But unlike how you've taken Louise's life, we have taken yours. We've just given you up to 20,000 reasons to doubt and not trust everyone in your world right now. You will have to live with that doubt for the rest of your life, having to wonder who might turn you in--your mom, dad, brother, sister or friends, [and] those who [you] bragged to about what you did to our little girl."

Please view the following video interview with Louise's parents:

If you have any information about this case, or know who the shooter is, please contact Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-521-4600. Or you may dial Houston Police Department directly at 713-884-1331.
  

Friday, January 12, 2024

Armed Robbers Got What They Deserved


California Storeowners are Literally Up in Arms
By Robert A. Waters

On January 1, 2024, at about 10:00 A.M., two armed robbers burst into the MSM Jewelry Store in Oakland, California.

The owner, who wished to remain unidentified, told police he saw two men park their car in the wrong direction outside the store. When they exited their car, he noticed they wore masks and held semiautomatic weapons. As they entered the business, the owner opened fire with a 9mm handgun. He said, "They told me, 'don't move or we'll shoot.' So I started shooting at them because they had guns pointed at me. They were shooting back."

Both robbers quickly realized they were facing a determined foe, so like cowards, they turned and scampered for the door. One fell and lost his shoe as he was slipping and sliding across the slick the floor. The owner insists he hit one in the shoulder.

The store owner was not charged with any crime.

Maybe the California authorities will get DNA from that lost shoe. And maybe they'll arrest the robber. And maybe they'll charge him with something like, say, attempted murder. Or maybe, like usual, prosecutors will let him go with no indictment and no punishment. California's criminal justice system under Governor Gavin Newsom is becoming a joke for the rest of the country to laugh at. Unfortunately, it's not funny for the people who live and work there.

Robberies in Oakland are so prevalent that some city council members are calling for a meeting with police to discuss how to reduce the mayhem.

I have one suggestion: in the next election, vote for prosecutors who will take crime seriously.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Smash and Grab Robbers Routed by Armed Store Owner

"It's Terrifying Living in California"

By Robert A. Waters

On December 11, 2023, a gang of smash and grab robbers stormed into the Estates Consignment store in Pleasant Hill, California. It was the middle of the day when a "scout," a woman dressed in a colorful dress, wandered around the shop eyeing surveillance cameras and speaking into her cell phone. A security guard stood at the locked door, allowing customers to enter and exit.

When the woman left the building, she held the door open long enough so the group of thieves could force their way inside. Two robbers threatened the unarmed security guard, holding him at bay, while five men raced straight toward the jewelry section of the store. One robber carried a sledgehammer. Expensive rings, watches, necklaces and high-end gems sat in glass cases near the rear of the store.

As the men neared the jewelry cases, a clerk screamed, alerting business owner Albert Marcu.

The brazen attitude of the thieves struck him. They acted like they owned the store. Marcu pulled a .38-caliber revolver from his pocket and moved to confront the men. "I told them to 'watch it' and they saw the gun and ran away," he said.

That's an understatement. As they neared the counter and noticed the gun, they stopped dead in their tracks. It was if all five men hit a brick wall at once. They halted, turned and sprinted for the door, kicking over chairs in their panicky flight.

In thirty seconds, the thugs were gone.

Albert Marcu is a remarkable man. He grew up in communist Romania, but fled when he was 19. He landed in Germany and obtained a degree in architecture there. Immigrating to America, Marcu worked for a few years in that profession. However, his passion was making and repairing jewelry and he soon opened his successful Estates Consignment shop.

After defending his store, the storeowner gave interviews to several networks.

"I feel very, very bad for this country," he said, "which is one of the best countries in the world. We beg the politicians to help us small businesses and help communities all over California. I'd say about 99% of my customers complain about crime."

Marcu told reporters he had a premonition his store might be hit "as large-scale retail thefts have become synonymous with the Bay area."

In an interview with Fox News, Marcu was asked about Governor Gavin Newsom's claim that San Francisco outperformed other areas in the state in reducing thefts. "Not true," Marcu said emphatically.

"I didn't want to shoot anybody," he said. "But I have to make a statement. Too many bad things have happened. Stores get robbed left and right. I have a message for all business owners, to take example and fight for themselves, because if you don't fight for yourself, nobody will."

"It's terrifying living in California," Marcu said.

As of this writing, none of the would-be robbers that attacked Albert Marcu's consignment store have been apprehended. If they are caught, they'll likely be released and face no charges. (In the Golden State, many prosecutors refuse to indict criminals except for the most violent crimes.)