The first article of Bill Ayers ( Weather Underground) praising the New York Democratic mayoral candidate, Bill DeBlasio leads into the second article of how DeBlasio supported Nicaragua’s Sandinista military government in the 1980’s.   The third article regards DeBlasio’s position on New York City’s charter schools.   If you have friends who will be voting in this New York mayoral race, please share this information to them.  Nancy    





Notable & Quotable


Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers praises New York Democratic mayoral candidate Bill DeBlasio.




Oct. 17, 2013

Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers talks to New York magazine about New York Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, Oct. 15:

Q: What should NYC voters make of de Blasio’s time in Nicaragua [with the Sandanistas]?

A: They should say that he stood up for humanity. He stood up for human rights against the blind imperial monster. That was the right thing to do then and it’s the right thing to do now. . . .

Q: What about education reform? Are de Blasio’s ideas about universal pre-kindergarten viable?

A: In a decent and humane society, universal preschool education would be a given and so would family leave for all parents, not just mothers. The fact that he at least leans away from the billionaire agenda of privatizing the public space is a terrific thing.


Bill de Blasio, From Managua to Manhattan
October 7, 2013
Nicaragua’s Marxist regime was an inspiration to New York’s leading mayoral candidate
The recent revelation that New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio supported Nicaragua’s Sandinista military government in the 1980s is a reminder of the high cost Latin America pays for being the playground of the American left. It should also further enlighten New Yorkers as to the politics of the man who is the front runner in the race.The ideas of the hard left don’t sell very well in the U.S., so collectivists take them south of the Rio Grande where they believe the ground is more fertile. Their arrogant paternalism ignores the rights of the people they pretend to redeem.


Bill de Blasio, New York City’s public advocate and frontrunner among Democratic candidates for mayor, greets voters on the Upper West side along with his wife Chirlane McCray in this September 10, 2013 file photo. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

By 1988, when Mr. de Blasio went to Nicaragua to do social work in support of the Marxist revolutionary cause, the Sandinistas had been running the country for almost a decade. Their brutality was well-documented. Mr. de Blasio, who also did fundraising for supporters of the military government, either didn’t know about Sandinista repression or he didn’t care.

It’s hard to believe it was the former. My requests for comment from his campaign went unanswered. In an interview with a New York radio station last month, however, some hints emerged when he was asked about his decision to honeymoon in Cuba in 1994. Mr. de Blasio said that he doesn’t excuse the “undemocratic” regime, but he also argued that it has accomplished “some good things” like “in health care.”

Let’s pretend that’s not generations-old Castro propaganda—even though every independent report from the island describes a health-care system that has completely collapsed and cannot even provide basics like bandages and aspirin. The larger problem is that Mr. de Blasio’s remarks suggest that there is a trade-off between freedom and doctor visits. Should jailing and torturing dissidents, stealing property and terrorizing generations of Cubans be considered less horrific because they have annual physicals? Apparently.

Nicaraguan strongman Anastasio Somoza was toppled in 1979. Many had fought to rid their country of his one-man rule, and a broad-based ruling directorate was set up after Somoza was banished. It was supposed to organize elections. Daniel Ortega, a leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front that overthrew Somoza, had other ideas. He wanted to remake Castro’s Cuba in Central America.

Mr. Ortega’s first step was to cleanse the Sandinista directorate of moderate elements, using fear and intimidation. In 1980, his security thugs assassinated Jorge Salazar, a popular and charismatic Nicaraguan businessman who had opposed Somoza’s dictatorship but also opposed the effort to install a Marxist-Leninist military government. It worked. Members of the directorate, who had naively believed that they were part of a new democratic Nicaragua, were terrified. They resigned and the ruling junta became totally Castroite.

The crackdown that followed was ruthless. Cuban enforcers were brought in to help. Houses, farms, ranches and businesses were confiscated, and the independent media were muzzled. Central planning meant price controls for everyone. Even rural women carrying produce to market were arrested as speculators.

Highland peasants who had fought to remove Somoza rebelled. They didn’t want to be ruled by a left-wing dictator any more than by the right-wing variety. They organized themselves into “Contras.” The Miskito Indians also fought back. In retribution the army burned their villages and carried out executions. Thousands fled to Honduras to live in refugee camps.

In the Sandinista nation some pigs were more equal than others. Property seized by the state somehow never made it into the hands of the poor, but comandantes got rich. When a decade of economic decline forced an internationally monitored election in 1990, opposition candidate Violeta Chamorro won the presidency. But the heavily armed comandantes refused to return their loot to its rightful owners. Critics dubbed it “la piñata.” Mr. Ortega has since returned to power.

It is possible that Mr. de Blasio wasn’t well-informed when he got mixed up with the Sandinistas. After all, he had only completed graduate studies of the region at an American university (Columbia), an experience that has produced more than its share of self-righteous gringos eager to reverse injustices in faraway places. It is harder to believe that he didn’t know that they were Soviet- backed, which might have offered a clue to where things were going.

The more likely explanation for why Mr. de Blasio supported the Sandinista military government is that he believed the brutality could be explained away with good outcomes. Indeed, Mr. de Blasio still romanticizes his gun-toting chums, as the New York Times reported on Sept. 23, after reviewing a series of interviews with the mayoral candidate. “To this day,” the Times reported, “he speaks admiringly of the Sandinistas’ campaign, noting advances in literacy and health care.”

That Mr. de Blasio’s comrades turned out to be greedy totalitarians who stole the spoils of the war for themselves doesn’t seem to matter.

Write to O’

Bill DeBlasio and Civil Rights
 Oct. 10, 2013

The Brooklyn Bridge

It’s too bad every New Yorker who plans to vote in the city’s mayoral election Nov. 5 couldn’t be at the Brooklyn Bridge Tuesday morning. They would have seen the single most important issue in the race between Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota. It’s not stop-and-frisk.

Thousands and thousands of charter-school parents with their young children—most looked to be in the first to fourth grades—marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall to save their schools.

When Bill de Blasio won the Democratic nomination for mayor, the first question many asked was whether Mr. de Blasio’s intention to heavily regulate the police department’s stop-and-frisk program would put the city’s years of low-crime calm at risk.

But this big Brooklyn Bridge march of mothers, fathers and kids alters the calculus of next month’s vote. Th crime issue, though important, is ultimately about self-interest.

By contrast, most New York voters—especially better-off white voters who’ve already made it here—have no direct stake whatsoever in New York City’s charter schools. They do, however, have a stake in the integrity of their political beliefs.

For decades, New York’s inner-city schools sent wave after wave of students into the world without the skills to do much more than achieve a minimal level of lifetime earnings, if that. This failure, repeated in so many large cities, remains the greatest moral catastrophe in the political life of the United States.

In 1999, the charter-school movement began in New York City with a handful of schools given independence from years of encrusted union rules and city regulations that made real learning virtually impossible in the city’s chaotic schools. The project flourished. Now nearly 200 charter schools teach some 70,000 students.

When the legislative limit on new charter-school openings arrives, New York’s next mayor will have to lobby the Albany legislature hard for permission to expand these lifeboats for the city’s poorest kids. So let’s put the politics of the mayoral election this way: Some 20,000 black and Hispanic parents and their kids would not have traveled from their neighborhoods—77% of the city’s charters are in Harlem, the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn—to march across that famous bridge if Bill de Blasio were not running for mayor. They think Mr. de Blasio is going to kill the charter-school movement in New York City. And they think this is a civil-rights issue.

One thing these 20- and 30-something parents have in common with their counterparts who live in Brooklyn’s Park Slope or Manhattan below 96th Street is that they weren’t even born when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech in 1963. But for them, you couldn’t miss that the dream described 50 years ago at the Lincoln Memorial was alive on the Brooklyn Bridge.

A lady with a bullhorn: “What do we want? Choice! When do we want it? Now!” A sign: “Let my children learn.” And bringing the politics to the present, one sign said simply: “Charters for the 99%.”

Many voters in the parts of Manhattan or Brooklyn that have good public- or private-school options will still vote for Bill de Blasio, either because they don’t spend much time on these out-of-area moral dilemmas or they think: It can’t be that bad, can it? Bill de Blasio won’t actually kill these people’s schools, will he?

Yes, it can be that bad.

In a now-famous statement, Mr. de Blasio recently said of charter-school pioneer Eva Moskowitz : “There is no way in hell that Eva Moskowitz should get free rent, OK?” What this means is that Mr. de Blasio, under pressure from the city’s teachers union, will start demanding rent payments from public charter schools that now operate rent-free in the same buildings occupied by traditional public schools.

If the next mayor makes the charters pay rent in the city’s expensive real-estate market—essentially imposing a regressive tax on them—over time the schools’ budgets will suffocate and they’ll start to die. It will be a slow death, so Mr. de Blasio’s voters won’t notice what’s happening in Harlem, Brooklyn and the South Bronx.

The city’s charter movement has attracted innovative school operators such as KIPP, Achievement First, Uncommon Schools, Harlem Village Academies and others. For the parents who win the annual lottery to get their kids into these schools, the result is an educational environment of achievement, discipline and esprit—what any parent wants. Given Mr. de Blasio’s intentions, these innovators will start to leave the city. One of the best things New York City has ever done will go away.

Sounds melodramatic? You bet it is. Why do you think those people were on that bridge?

How Democratic politicians like Bill de Blasio and the unionized teachers’ movement ended up so at odds with the city’s black children will fall to future historians to explain. But that’s where they are. What remains to be seen, and will be seen Nov. 5, is how many New Yorkers are in that same place.


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