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


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 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:

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.”